English High Court Strikes Out "Class Action" Against British Airways


On April 8, 2009, the Chancellor of the High Court (who is the head of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales) granted an application by British Airways ("BA") to strike out the representative element of a claim for damages arising from its alleged participation in an air cargo cartel. The claimants, Emerald Suppliers Ltd, imported cut flowers from Colombia and Kenya using the air freight services of BA and other international airlines. They alleged that BA had been party to agreements to fix the prices at which air freight services were supplied, or to control or share the market for the supply of those services in breach of the EC and UK competition rules (the "Claim"). The claimants asserted that they were "direct or indirect purchasers of air freight services the prices for which were inflated by one or more of the agreements or concerted practices. As such, they are representative of all other direct or indirect purchasers of air freight services, the prices for which were so inflated."

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