Flight Centre considers appealing price fixing judgement

Flight Centre considers appealing price fixing judgement
By admin

Flight Centre is contemplating launching an appeal of the Federal Court's judgement on the protracted price fixing case, as it ruled in favour of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The ACCC had accused the retailer of colluding with Singapore, Malaysia Airlines and Emirates on six occasions between 2005 and 2009 in a bid to ensure Flight Centre had the cheapest fares and was not undercut on the web.

The competition regulator initiated the Federal Court action in March 2012, with the case heard in October 2012.

Managing director Graham Turner said the company had been surprised by the result and would seek further legal advice to determine its next course of action.

"As an agent that provides considerable free advice and help to the travelling public, FLT asks for adequate commissions from suppliers and also reasonable access to all deals that they release to the market," he said.

"Having access to all offers is a logical and natural business request for an agent to make to ensure the customers it serves are not disadvantaged."

He warned that today's ruling would have implications for not only the travel industry but for the retail sector as a whole.

"As we have maintained throughout this four and a half year saga, the company is not in the business of making airfares more expensive. In fact, we regularly suggest to airlines that they lower prices to stimulate demand," Turner said.

A hearing to determine whether a penalty should be imposed will be scheduled at a later date, with Flight Centre to update the market "in due course" as to whether or not it will appeal the judgement.

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