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Korean Air Confirms Price Fixing Probe

Korean Air Confirms Regulatory Investigation Into Price Fixing on Fuel Surcharges

Feb 17, 2006 | AP

Korean Air Co., the world's largest international cargo airline, confirmed Friday it was inspected amid a probe into alleged collusion to fix prices in the air cargo industry.

Korea Fair Trade Commission officials visited the company on Tuesday, said airline spokeswoman Nancy Park. She said Korean Air was cooperating, but had no details on what the regulators were seeking.

"We're cooperating with them and making sure they get what they need," Park said. The investigators visited Korean Air for "at least a couple of hours," she said.

Since Tuesday, more than a dozen airlines including Singapore Airlines Ltd., Japan Airlines Corp., Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., British Airways PLC, Germany's Lufthansa AG and South Korea's Asiana Airlines Inc. have said authorities in the United States, Europe and Asia have either visited their offices or issued subpoenas.

Officials for the European Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation refused Wednesday to provide details about the probe.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission, South Korea's antitrust regulator, issued a brief statement Wednesday to say it had investigated local and foreign airlines, which it didn't identify. It has refused further comment.

One of the foreign airline's targeted, SAS AB's SAS Cargo in Copenhagen, Denmark, said the EU has alleged that cooperation among airlines began in 2000 and involved agreements about surcharges imposed by airlines to offset certain external costs.

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