Flight Centre, accused and convicted of price fixing, has finally won an appeal against the competition watchdog, the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission).
The end of the six year case means the travel agent now gets back the $11 million in fines it had to pay, plus interest.
Flight Centre always said that all it was doing was ensuring its customers got the same flight deals as those offered directly by the airlines.
However, in 2013 the Federal Court sided with the ACCC which alleged Flight Centre engaged in conduct which amounted to attempts to control prices on six occasions between 2005 and 2009.
Today the Federal Court overturned that judgement and ordered the ACCC pay Flight Centre’s legal costs for both the initial case and for the appeal.
“The company is not in the business of attempting to make airfares more expensive,” says managing director Graham Turner.
“FLT asks for appropriate commissions from suppliers and also reasonable access to all deals that they release to the market. This is a logical and natural business request for an agent to make.”
The return of the fines plus interest will be shown in Flight Centre’s current financial year results.
Flight Centre shares are trading almost 1% higher at 35.860.