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Deutsche Bahn sues airlines in U.S. over 1999-2006 price fixing

BERLIN (Reuters) - Deutsche Bahn [DBN.UL] is suing airlines in the United States for operating a price-fixing cartel affecting its freight business between 1999-2006, the German transport company told Reuters.

The airlines' price fixing was first exposed seven years ago and triggered fines of 800 million euros in the European Union in 2010 and a fine of $1.5 billion in the United States. Victims of the cartel can sue separately for compensation.

Deutsche Bahn said the companies targeted by the lawsuit in New York include Air France-KLM , Scandinavia's SAS , Qantas Airways , Cargolux Airlines International [CLUX.UL], Martinair Holland [MART.UL] and All Nippon Airways <9202.T>.

Deutsche Bahn transports 390.1 million tons of freight a year, via land, rail, sea and air. It made 39.1 billion euros ($5.3 billion) in revenues last year and operates in more than 130 countries.

A source familiar with the case said Deutsche Bahn's claim stood at more than $500 million. Deutsche Bahn declined to comment on the sum involved.

The current lawsuit concerns airlines flying to and from the United States, as well as within the country.

(Reporting by Markus Wacket; writing by Bethan John; editing by David Clarke)