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Freight firms fined for fixing prices

Swiss logistics firms Kühne & Nagel and Panalpina are among 14 firms fined a total of €169 million (SFr204 million) by the European Commission for running cartels.

Kühne & Nagel has been handed a €53.7 million fine while Panalpina was ordered to pay up €46.5 million after being found guilty of fixing prices along with competitors.

The 14 firms were adjudged to have violated  European Union anti-trust rules between 2002 and 2007. Two of the companies charged, DHL Global Forwarding and Exel, started the investigation in 2007 when they blew the whistle on the scam.

The cartel centered around freight forwarding services on routes between Europe, Asia and the United States.

Freight forwarding arranges the transport of goods on behalf of other companies, including customs clearance and warehousing and ground services.

“In times of crisis, it is all the more important to stamp out the hidden tax that cartels impose on our economy. These cartels affected individuals and companies shipping goods on important trade lanes,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement.

Both Swiss firms have also been among those fined in the US and New Zealand on similar charges in recent years.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR