Probe looks into air cargo price fixing

At the center of the probe is the method airlines use to impose surcharges for fuel and security.

U.S. Justice Department officials are reportedly involved in an "industry wide" inquiry into "possibly anticompetitive practices" in the air cargo industry.

Justice Department officials had served a subpoena on American Airlines but, according to early reports, had not executed a search warrant. A spokesman for the airline told the New York Times the airline had not been notified that it was the subject of any investigation and that it intends to cooperate fully. That sentiment was repeated by other airlines in Europe and Asia as European Commission (EC) officials and the Korean fair trade commission carried out unannounced inspections.

The following airlines have already been raided or contacted by authorities: Air France/KLM, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Japan Airlines, Korean Air Lines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines.

Officials of the various investigating agencies reportedly conducted employee interviews and examined documents. UPS has also been contacted.

Though no specific charges appear to have been filed, the price fixing investigation centers on surcharges for fuel and security.

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