EVA Airways To Pay $13.2 Million Fine For Air Cargo Price Fixing


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EVA Airways To Pay $13.2 Million Fine For Air Cargo Price Fixing

By Eddy Metcalf

May 31, 2011 - EVA Airways Corporation has agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $13.2 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices in the air cargo industry, the Department of Justice announced. 

According to a one-count felony charge filed on Friday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Taiwan-based EVA participated in a conspiracy to fix particular cargo base rates or fees charged to customers for certain international air shipments.

Including to and from the United States from at least as early as January 2003 until at least Feb. 14, 2006. Under the plea agreement, which is subject to court approval, EVA has agreed to cooperate with the department?s antitrust investigation.

As a result of the department?s investigation into price fixing in the air transportation industry, including EVA, a total of 22 airlines and 21 executives have been charged. To date, more than $1.8 billion in criminal fines have been imposed and four executives have been sentenced to serve prison time. Charges are pending against the remaining executives.

EVA transports a variety of cargo shipments, including sensitive equipment used to manufacture liquid crystal display (LCD) panels, perishable commodities such as cherries and pet food, and consumer goods, on scheduled flights within Taiwan and internationally, including to and from the United States. 

According to the charges, EVA and co-conspirators carried out the conspiracy by agreeing during meetings, conversations and other communications on particular cargo base rates or fees to be charged for certain international air shipments. As part of the conspiracy, the department said that EVA and co-conspirators levied cargo rates in accordance with the agreements reached, and monitored and enforced adherence to the agreed-upon cargo rates. 

EVA is charged with price fixing in violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum fine for corporations of $100 million. The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine. 


Friday?s charge is the result of a joint investigation into the air transportation industry being conducted by the Antitrust Division?s National Criminal Enforcement Section, the FBI?s Washington Field Office, the Department of Transportation?s Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Service?s Office of Inspector General. 

EVA Airways is an airline based at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport near Taipei, Taiwan, operating passenger and dedicated cargo services to over 40 international destinations in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. EVA Air is largely privately owned and flies a fully international route network. It is the second largest Taiwanese airline, next in size to its main rival, China Airlines. EVA Air is headquartered in Lujhu, Taoyuan County.

Since its founding in 1989 as an affiliate of shipping conglomerate Evergreen Group, EVA Air has expanded to include air cargo, airline catering, ground handling, and aviation engineering services. Its cargo arm, EVA Air Cargo, links with the Evergreen worldwide shipping network on sea and land. Its domestic and regional subsidiary, UNI Air, operates a medium and short-haul network based in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

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