BA execs to be named in price fixing probe: report

 @ibtimes on August 05 2007 8:41 AM

British Airways executives are expected to be named in a price fixing probe this month as the U.S. Department of Justice reveals those not covered by a plea deal which it announced with the airline last week, The Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.

A number of executives just below board level are to be identified when BA is arraigned in court in Washington in 10 days, the newspaper said, without naming its sources.

These executives could be prosecuted in the criminal courts in the U.S., it said.

Two BA executives were identified when they resigned last October -- former commercial director Martin George and former public relations boss Iain Burns -- although no wrongdoing by either has been announced.

A spokesman for BA declined to comment to Reuters when asked about the report.

The DoJ last week announced a $300 million fine for BA stemming from price fixing on fuel surcharges on passenger flights and on cargo fuel charges.

That combined with a 121.5 million pound fine announced by the UK's Office of Fair Trading, also last week, means BA must pay almost 270 million pounds in fines, leaving about 80 million pounds of a provision it took in May.

BA's 350 million pound provision could prove insufficient as the European Commission is set to fine BA in excess of 60 million pounds and the company could face an even larger class action suit, the Telegraph said, without citing its sources.

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