The U.S. Justice department says Northwest Airlines LLC, now a part of Delta Air Lines, will pay a nearly $40 million criminal fine for price fixing.
Twin Cities-based Northwest was bought by Delta Airlines in 2008.
The government says before the merger Northwest took part in meetings with other airlines where the companies agreed to set cargo rates on routes between the United States and Japan. Northwest monitored and enforced the rate agreements.
Northwest has agreed to pay a $38 million criminal fine and cooperate in the justice department's investigation. Sixteen airlines have already agreed to plead guilty in the conspiracy.
The case has resulted in more than $1.6 billion in criminal fines and four executives have been sentenced to serve prison time. Charges are pending against a fifth executive.
Northwest's European partner, Air France-KLM Group recently agreed to pay $87 million to hundreds of freight shippers to settle a similar class-action lawsuit.
In a statement, Delta Airlines points out Northwest's plea agreement doesn't assert any misconduct by current or former members of Northwest or Delta's board of directors.