British Airways was fined a total of £269 million for conspiring to fix the price of air fares but the airline could be forced to pay out millions more to passengers seeking compensation.The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) fined BA £121.5 million for anti-competitive behaviour, the largest penalty it has levied against a single company. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) fined the airline a further $300 million (£147 million), the second largest anti-trust penalty it has levied.These fines could be dwarfed by compensation demands from passengers and companies who have paid higher fares because of BA’s actions. British passengers are understood to have signed up to a class-action lawsuit that has been filed in the US and a further legal demand for restitution is expected to be filed in a London court this year.The charges against BA relate to two instances of price fixing. In the first, BA and Virgin Atlantic discussed the amount they would charge customers to cover increases in the price of fuel. These “fuel surcharges” were introduced in 2004 and, over a period of 18 months until early last year, the two airlines colluded on the level and timing of increases to their surcharges.The second case of price-fixing relates to fuel surcharges for carrying cargo. This is a far wider investigation that covers about a dozen airlines in the US, Europe, Asia and Australia.Source: timesonline.com; read full article here.