High Court gives Commerce Commission go-ahead on air cargo case
by Paul McBeth
Aug. 26 (BusinessDesk) – The High Court has given the Commerce Commission leave to pursue its air cargo cartel case against airlines and freight forwarders after agreeing there was a local market for the services.
Judge Raynor Asher and lay member economist Martin Richardson agreed with the regulator that New Zealand’s inbound cargo services were covered by the local courts.
“We cannot accept that the legislature in referring to competition in markets in New Zealand intended to limit any assessment of that competition only to domestic factors in New Zealand,” the judgment said.
“That doesn’t seem to be in accord with the facts and common sense. Such an approach could lead to capricious results,” it said.
Air New Zealand Ltd., Japan Airlines International Co., Emirates, Malaysian Airlines System Berhad Ltd., Korean Airlines Co., Thai Airways International Public Co., Singapore Airlines Ltd. & Singapore Airlines Cargo Pte., and Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. contended that inbound air cargo didn’t come under New Zealand jurisdiction. They didn’t dispute outbound cargo.
The second phase of the trial will begin next year.