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Polar Air Cargo Settles Antitrust Claims for $100 Million

A settlement agreement last week in the long-running U.S. Cargo Antitrust Class Action brought the settlement fund in that case to over $1.1 billion.

Polar Air Cargo, Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings agreed to pay $100 million in three installments. The settlement is the second-largest so far in this case, after Korean Air Lines's agreement in December 2013 to pay $115 million. It is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, where the case is pending.

As we have previously noted here, the case started a decade ago when consumers of air cargo services brought more than 90 law suits against dozens of air cargo carriers. These cases were later consolidated in the Eastern District of New York MDL titled In re: Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust Litigation.

The MDL concerns claims that air cargo carriers agreed in secret meetings, conversations, and other communications on cargo rates to and from the United States from January 2000 to September 2006. The conspirators allegedly carried out the conspiracy by enforcing the agreed-upon rates and engaging in subsequent communications to monitor enforcement.

Claims remain against three defendants: Air China, Air India, and Air New Zealand.