Flight Cen­tre court case

Travel Bulletin - - STATE OF THE INDUSTRY -

Flight Cen­tre has re­solved to vig­or­ously de­fend it­self yet again from al­le­ga­tions of price fix­ing, with the long-run­ning case brought by the Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion set for a fur­ther hear­ing. The ACCC was granted spe­cial leave by the High Court to ap­peal the for­mer de­ci­sion of the Full Court of the Fed­eral Court, which last July found in favour of Flight Cen­tre and over­turned a pre­vi­ous judge­ment in­clud­ing the re­fund of a fine of $11 mil­lion levied against the com­pany. ACCC chair­man Rod Sims says there is an im­por­tant le­gal prin­ci­ple at stake, par­tic­u­larly with the growth of sup­pli­ers which sell both di­rectly on­line and through in­ter­me­di­aries. The case will go to a full hear­ing of the High Court later this year, with Flight Cen­tre manag­ing di­rec­tor Gra­ham Turner say­ing he was dis­ap­pointed the Com­mis­sion con­tin­ues to pur­sue the mat­ter, fol­low­ing the pre­vi­ous “clear and unan­i­mous” judge­ment. “We are not in the busi­ness of at­tempt­ing to make air­fares more ex­pen­sive and we will con­tinue to fight to be able to seek ac­cess to all fares to en­sure the millions of cus­tomers that we serve are not forced to pay more for their flights,” Turner promised.

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