Panalpina has agreed to pay $35 million in a preliminary agreement to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by airlines against a large number of freight forwarders.
The 2008 suit alleged that Panalpina and others violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by engaging in fixing surcharges. A case over price-fixing was settled with the Department of Justice in 2010 after Panalpina agreed to a $12 million fine.
According to Panalpina’s website, the civil case has been a drawn-out battle.
“A civil class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S. against Panalpina and a number of its major competitors as a direct consequence of [Justice’s] investigations alleging a conspiracy in the pricing of freight forwarding services,” the company wrote. “In July 2009, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint adding additional defendants and claims. In November 2009, the company, along with other defendants, filed motions to dismiss the amended complaint for failure to state a claim and for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Oppositions to the motions were filed in January 2010.”
In 2012, the European Commission fined Panalpina 169 million euros ($233.5) for participating in a price-fixing cartel. Investigations against the company by the Competition Bureau of Canada and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission were closed due to lack of evidence or other factors.