ACCC lodges cross appeal

 

Flight centreThe Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has lodged a cross appeal in relation to a penalty judgment of the federal court in March ordering Flight Centre to pay $11 million in penalties.

In December 2013, the federal court found Flight Centre competed with international airlines for the retail or distribution margin on the sale of international air fares and that, on six occasions between 2005 and 2009, Flight Centre, by seeking from certain airlines not to undercut it on these airfares, had attempted to induce an anti competitive arrangement to eliminate differences in air fares so as to maintain Flight Centre’s margins.

The ACCC’s cross appeal follows an appeal lodged by Flight Centre against both the judgment and subsequent penalties, which were imposed in relation to five of the six established contraventions.

The ACCC’s cross appeal will contend that four of those penalties imposed do not provide adequate deterrence, given the findings about the nature of the conduct and the size and financial strength of Flight Centre.

“The penalties imposed in competition cases are hugely important to deter anti competitive conduct. The ACCC is concerned generally to ensure that penalties for anti competitive conduct in breach of the law are not viewed commercially as being an acceptable cost of doing business,” ACCC chairman, Rod Sims said.

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