The European Commission has revised its earlier decision and has once again fined eleven airlines for breaches of air freight competition rules
- A fine has been imposed on SAS Cargo of MEUR 70.2, the same amount as that repaid by the European Commission to SAS in 2016.
- SAS maintains that SAS Cargo has not participated in any global cartel and will appeal the European Commission’s decision.
On 9 November 2010, the European Commission fined SAS Cargo and ten other airlines for breaches of the air freight competition rules. For the SAS Group, the fine amounted to MEUR 70.2. SAS appealed the European Commission’s decision to the Court of Justice of the European Union’s (CJEU) first instance, the General Court. In December 2015, the CJEU annulled the European Commission’s decision. After the European Commission’s decision not to appeal the CJEU’s judgment, the fine was repaid to SAS in March 2016.
Today, the European Commission has once again decided to impose a fine on SAS Cargo and the ten other airlines encompassed by the annulled 2010 decision.
“We strongly question the European Commission’s move to reimpose a decision that has already been annulled once by the CJEU,” says Marie Wohlfahrt, General Counsel at SAS. “Throughout the entire process, SAS has cooperated with the European Commission and, for more than eleven years, has argued against the European Commission’s perception that SAS Cargo had participated in a global cartel,” continues Marie Wohlfahrt. “SAS takes the competition rules extremely seriously and does not accept any breaches. We have a clear regulatory framework in place for compliance with competition law. This encompasses information, guidelines, training programs and control procedures,” says Marie Wohlfahrt.
The fine will be recognized as a nonrecurring expense by SAS in its earnings for the second quarter of 2016/2017.
SAS will appeal the European Commission’s decision. The appeal process could take several years.