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Travel agency faces A$11m fine over bids to block MAS, others from offering cheaper tix

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by December 15, 2016 General

Travel agency faces A$11m fine over bids to block MAS, others from offering cheaper tix

It is understood that Flight Centre acted as an agent to sell international plane tickets on behalf of airlines, and that it received a commission for each sale. — Reuters picIt is understood that Flight Centre acted as an agent to sell international plane tickets on behalf of airlines, and that it received a commission for each sale. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 ― Australia could penalise Flight Centre up to A$11 million (RM36.5 million) after its high court found the travel agency culpable for trying to prevent Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Emirates from offering lower fares.

According to The Guardian, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman (ACCC) had launched the initial case against Flight Centre, alleging that the travel agency sought to induce the three airlines to stop directly offering international airfares at prices lower than what it offered.

The news report said that a “majority of high court judges” were of the view that Flight Centre was in competition with these airlines when it tried to induce them not to lower the price of international flight tickets sold directly to customers.

The case will now be referred to Australia’s federal court for determination of penalty.

It is understood that Flight Centre acted as an agent to sell international plane tickets on behalf of airlines, and that it received a commission for each sale.

But the three airlines sometimes sold cheaper tickets directly to customers, which caused problems for Flight Centre as it promised customers that it would undercut any fare.

The Guardian said that between August 2005 and May 2009, Flight Centre sent a series of emails to the airlines telling them to stop directly offering international airfares at lower prices.

The travel agency also instructed its staff to stop selling tickets from Singapore Airlines after negotiations between the two broke down.

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