Israel Airline Enters Into a Plea Agreement With the United States for Violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act
February 04, 2009
On February 4, El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (El Al), a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Israel, entered into a plea agreement with the United States District Court, District of Columbia, for violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The plea agreement states that from January 2003 until at least, February 14, 2006, employees from the company’s cargo division participated in a conspiracy with one or more providers of air cargo services to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing one or more components of the cargo rates charged to customers for certain air cargo services. El Al employees also, engaged in discussions and attended meetings with representatives of one or more providers of air cargo services, where agreements were reached to fix one or more components of the cargo rates charged to purchasers of certain air services flying into and out of the United States. Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the United States and the defendant agree to recommend jointly that the court impose a sentence requiring the defendant to pay a criminal fine of $15.7 million. This plea agreement is the result of a large scale investigation into price fixing and collusion in the airline industry that is being coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division. This investigation is being conducted jointly with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General.