On December 4, 2008, the French Competitive Council (“Council”) fined four oil companies, Chevron-Texaco, Total, Exxon, and Shell, €41.1 million for their role in price fixing of fuel for Air France flights on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion. According to the Council, the four companies violated the European Community Treaty’s Article 81 and a corresponding French law provision.
According to the complaint, the four companies colluded to maintain market shares and increase prices by restricting the supply of kerosene used to fuel Air France flights on La Reunion from 2002-2003. As a result, Air France was accepted the 30% increase in prices from the four oil companies.
This investigation marks the first time the Council received assistance from the UK’s Office of Fair Trading (“OFT”). The Council received information regarding the companies, which are based their through the OFT. Air France may still seek compensation from the oil companies as well, according to the findings of the Council.