DHL Express (USA) has agreed to pay US$53 million to resolve an antitrust class action accusing the express company and others of participating in an international price-fixing scheme, according to documents filed this week in New York federal court. If approved, the settlement would allow DHL to exit the long-running litigation filed in 2008.
As part of the deal, DHL has agreed to aid the plaintiff’s claims against the lone remaining defendant, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics Inc., although a settlement was reached in principle with Hellmann earlier this month.
The plaintiffs alleged that shortly after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, the freight forwarding companies conspired to pass on all post-9/11 surcharges to their customers by agreeing to “fix, inflate and maintain” several subsequently arising surcharges for US freight forwarding services. The alleged agreement encompassed all new surcharges from carriers, according to the suit.
In October, companies accused of participating in the scheme – including Agility Logistics, UPS, SDV, Panalpina, Geodis, DSV, Jet Speed, Toll Group, Dachser and others – agreed to pay a total of US$197.6 million in 11 separate settlements, the second round of settlements in the nearly eight-year-long antitrust litigation over the alleged international price-fixing conspiracies.