Cartels in the international air freight forwarding services: the General Court upholds the fines imposed by the Commission to participating companies

On 28 March 2012, the Commission adopted its decision C(2012) 1959 def. that fined for a total of 169 million euros several companies that between 2002 and 2007 participated in various agreements and concerted practices on the market for international air freight forwarding services. The companies concerned had agreed on fixing prices and surcharges that originated four different cartels concerning: the ‘new export system’ (NES); the ‘advanced manifest system’ (AMS); the ‘currency adjustment factor’ (CAF); and the ‘peak season surcharge’ (PSS).

By its judgments of 29 February 2016 (Cases T-251/12, T-254/12, T-264/12, T-265/12, T-267/12 and T-270/12), the General Court of the European Union, rejecting the applications for the annulment of the decision concerned or the reduction of the fines, upheld the fines imposed on the applicants, except for UTi Worldwide, whose original fine of 3.07 million was reduced to 2.97 million euros in consideration of its purely derivative liability originated by the participation of two of its subsidiaries in the cartels.

Judgments of the General Court may be appealed, only on points of law, before the Court of Justice of the European Union within two months starting from the notification of the decision.