​Cartel class action to land $38 million win

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A long lasting class action battle is reaching a close with a $38 million settlement being reached with most respondents.

The class action related to an alleged cartel to fix the price of international air-freight services, specifically relating to fuel and security surcharges imposed by the airlines.

The price fixing class action, undertaken by Maurice Blackburn began in 2007 and was taken up on behalf of purchasers of international airfreight services, including importers and exporters of products to and from Australia. 

International airlines being targeted included Qantas, Lufthansa Cargo, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air New Zealand and British Airways.

Only the Air New Zealand party has not yet reached an agreement for the settlement.

Class actions principal at Maurice Blackburn, Brooke Dellavedova, said she was confident the settlement would be approved by the court.

“This case involved allegations of collusive conduct by many airlines over a long period of time, and in different parts of the world,” Dellavedova said.   

The proposed settlement will benefit the group members who registered with Maurice Blackburn last September to participate in any settlement.

The application for settlement approval will be heard by the Federal Court on 6 June 2014.

The settlement is without admission of liability by respondents.

In a recent Australasian Lawyer article, Maurice Blackburn hit back at suggestions that Australia's class action regime required reform.  

Earlier this year an 'unprecedented storm' of class action litigation was also predicted.