Germany’s BMW AG and Robert Bosch Gmbh, the world’s largest premium automaker and auto supplier, have both decided to join Deutsche Bahn – which has filed two claims for around 2.1 billion euros ($2.4 billion) in compensation from air freight carriers.
The airlines were involved in a cartel scheme and the group involved Europe’s largest airline – Lufthansa – as well as British Airways. The wrongdoings were first uncovered seven years ago and led to numerous fines in the European Union and United States. After an initial report in German magazine WirtschaftsWoche, spokespersons for the two German companies – BMW and Bosch – confirmed they were to join the Deutsche Bahn lawsuits announced back in December. The magazine also said that Continental, Kuehne + Nagel and Panalpina were among the damage claimants, as well. Back in 2010 the European regulators finned the 11 airlines involved a total of 100 million euros, also allowing private claims in the price fixing case.
Deutsche Bahn claims its freight business Schenker had to pay more than it should for at least six years when it needed air cargo services, with the carriers secretly agreeing to impose fuel and security surcharges. The company has now asked 1.2 billion euros in damages and another 560 million euros in interest in a case opened in Cologne, while also initiating a suit in the US for another $370 million. The airlines involved in Europe are Lufthansa, Air Canada, British Airways, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, LAN, Qantas, SAS and Singapore Airlines. The ones in America are Air France, All Nippon Airways, Cargolux, KLM, Martinair, Qantas and SAS.