USA: $210M settlement in airline price fixing is approved

An agreement by two British-based airlines to pay roughly $210 million to settle a massive price-fixing lawsuit met with tentative approval from a federal judge on Friday.The class action lawsuit, which accused the carriers of colluding to gouge trans-Atlantic passengers with fuel surcharges, was brought on behalf of 5.1 million passengers who bought airplane tickets in the United Kingdom and another 2.1 million passengers who purchased tickets in the United States.U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco granted tentative approval for British Airways PLC and Virgin Atlantic to refund one-third of the surcharge paid by each of the airlines’ passengers between Aug. 11, 2004 and March 23, 2006. Breyer has scheduled a hearing to make his decision permanent on Sept. 12.Similar price fixing class action lawsuits against other carriers are pending.Source: Associated Press/Google; full article available here>>.

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