Defense Against Cartel Damages Claims in the Air Transport Industry

The Situation

Plaintiffs alleged anticompetitive price increases on the part of the defendants' participation in a cartel uncovered by the European Commission on a price component for air transport services. Plaintiffs filed a follow-on damages claim in a German court against the defendants to pursue their claim.

NERA's Role

NERA was retained by the defendants to analyze the economic report brought forward by the plaintiffs to estimate the harm they allegedly suffered. The NERA team, including Consultant Dr. C.-Philipp Heller and former Managing Director Prof. Dr. Frank P. Maier-Rigaud, analyzed the affected markets and the price-setting in the industry. Based on their market analysis, they reviewed the plaintiffs' economic report, finding a number of errors substantially inflating the calculated harm.

The Result

Plaintiffs and some of the defendants have settled the case out of court with payments being substantially below the damages claimed by the plaintiffs. The court case is still pending.