Updated @ 12:30 am 15-12-2011: MyCC to investigate into the MAS -AirAsia share swap comes Jan 1,HERE.
MAS has announced on 18-02-2010 that 0n 16-2-2010 it had received a complaint filed in the US District Court for Eastern District of New York on behalf of Benchmark Export Services and six other plaintiffs against MAS and 11 other defendants on the allegations of price fixing airfreight shipping services and fuel surcharge and etc. MAS has denied such infringement. On 11-7-2011 MAS paid US$3.35 million as an out of Court settlement which can be considered as the lowest settlement sum under anti-trust laws.
MAS is not the only airline that had to face charges of violating of anti-trust laws in Australia, USA, Europe, South Korea and other countries.
In 2006 Korean Air has been found to have violated the anti-trust law in US and has been fined by US Court US$300 million by US Court. In 2008, Japan Airlines has been fined US$110 million, Qantas Airways US$61 million, British Airways US$300 million and settled US$135.9 million in civil claims in the US Court.
There are also other complaints against Air France, Cathay Pacific, Asiana Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand and Thai Airways in the Courts in USA, Australia and South Korea where the complaints are still pending in the various courts.
On 18 January and 28 March 2008, MAS has also been served with various complaints under the anti-trust laws in the US District Court Northern District of California and Central District of California involving allegations of price fixing for transpacific fares and related surcharges. These cases are still pending.
Yours truly hope that both Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, MD of Khazanah and his ex-business partner in BianFikir Sdn Bhd, En Mohammed Rashdan Yusoff aka Danny (now appointed deputy CEO of MAS), were fully aware of these complaints against MAS. Yours truly hopes that these two ex-founders of BinaFikir Sdn Bhd, which was sold to MayBank for RM8 million in 2008, were fully appraised of the anti-trust laws in Malaysia and other jurisdictions when the secret MAS – AirAsia share swap and the Collaborative Framework agreements were signed in a rush on 9-8-2011.
After the signing of the said agreements, we have heard of many statements concerning the “STRATEGIC ALLIANCE” between MAS and AirAsia which has resulted in MAS or Firefly having to terminate profitable routes from JB to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu from 24-8-2011, MAS terminated Bandung route from 4-10-2011, Firefly terminated its routes within East Malaysia and the impending termination of routes from KK to Korea, Japan and Perth. But AirAsia has not terminated any of its profitable routes that are in competition with MAS like London, Singapore and others.
It will be incomplete if yours truly does not mention about Rahsdan rushing to London on 16-8-2011 (7 days after the said secret share swap) to “GIVE AWAY” RM18 million of MAS money to sponsor QPR’s home jersey when MAS is bleeding. It must be noted that in April 2011 Tan Sri Tony Fernandes (Tony) had bought a substantial share in QPR. Most of the above decisions were made, when Rashdan was in full control of MAS via the newly formed EXCO comprising of Tony and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun. yours truly leaves it to you to judge whether there were conflicts of interest in making those decisions.
By the way AirAsia or AirAsia X Sdn Bhd have been competing with MAS over these routes and are still operating these routes. After the inking of the said secret share swap on 9-8-2011, Tony and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, both are from AirAsia Bhd and AirAsia X Sdn Bhd, are also sitting on the Board of MAS where the said decisions may have been subsequently endorsed.