U.S. and European regulators said Tuesday that they had launched a probe of transatlantic cargo carriers, examining possible price fixing in the air cargo industry.
The European Commission carried out surprise inspections Tuesday of several major European airlines, and the U.S. Justice Department issued subpoenas.
The probe also widened to Asian carriers as Japan Airlines Corp. and two South Korean airlines, Korean Air Lines Co. and Asiana Airlines Inc., said authorities had searched their offices.
British Airways, Air France, KLM, Lufthansa and Cargolux Airlines all confirmed that they were cooperating with authorities investigating the pricing practices. The largest U.S. airline, AMR Corp.'s American Airlines, also said it had received a subpoena from the Justice Department as part of the probe.
American had not been told it was a target of the investigation "and unlike some other airlines" didn't receive a search warrant, spokesman Tim Wagner said. He said the Fort Worth-based airline would cooperate fully with investigators.
United Airlines, a unit of UAL Corp., said its United Cargo office in Frankfurt, Germany, had received an inquiry from European authorities.
"We are giving the European authorities our full cooperation in this matter," spokesman Jeff Green said in an e-mail to Associated Press. "United conducts its business in full compliance with European rules and regulations."
In Houston, a spokeswoman for Continental Airlines Inc. said the carrier had not received a subpoena.
In a brief statement to the London Stock Exchange, British Airways said it had received a request for information from the European Commission as well as the U.S. Justice Department and was assisting in the probe.
Justice Department spokeswoman Gina Talamona said U.S. investigators were working with the EU and other authorities to investigate possible "anticompetitive behavior."
Patrick Jeanne, a spokesman for Luxembourg's Cargolux Airlines International, said the carrier had been visited Tuesday by EU inspectors.
KLM spokesman Hugo Baas confirmed that the carrier was included in the probe and that investigators were at the company Tuesday. He said KLM was extending "full cooperation, and we have all the faith in the outcome of the investigation."
KLM and Air France are part of Air France-KLM Group.