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Slaughter and May has flown in to advise British Airways (BA) on the investigation by UK and US authorities into alleged price-fixing allegations involving fuel surcharges on long haul flights over the past two years.
Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines and United Airlines are also subject to investigation along with BA. All four airlines fly between America and Heathrow, London.
It is understood that Slaughters competition partner Bertrand Louveaux is leading the competition team advising BA. The lawyer was brought in earlier this year to advise the airline when it was subject to a dawn raid by the European Commission over suspicions of price fixing in its cargo business. Sullivan & Cromwell was thought to be advising on US matters, as first reported in The Lawyer (23 February).
At the time if the raid, Air France, Lufthansa, KLM, SAS and cargo specialist Cargolux also confirmed that they had been visited by Commission officials,
The investigations are is set to involve competition partners across the City. Allen & Overy, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Herbert Smith and Lovells are said to have been brought in by clients to act in the investigations.