Airbus fined US$128 million over Taiwan missile affair

Airbus, which this week agreed to sell China 184 A320 planes by 2020, said in a statement it had been ordered to pay the fine “for a complaint of breach of contract concerning the sale of missiles”. Matra Defence S.A.S., which joined the Airbus group in 1998, said for its part it was “studying the fine and evaluating next steps”, the statement said. An Airbus spokesman declined to provide details on the case when contacted by AFP. In a separate case, the European group said it was in discussions with prosecutors in Munich that could close a German probe into alleged corruption related to the sale of Eurofighter jets to Austria. In February, Austria sued Airbus over a 2003 Eurofighter deal that was long alleged to have been highly shady, seeking up to €1.1 billion (US$1.2 billion) in damages. Austria’s defence ministry said at the time that the lawsuit accused Airbus and the Eurofighter consortium of deliberately hoodwinking Vienna over the €2 billion order. At the time Airbus chief Tom Enders was head of the defence division of European Aeronautic Defence Space Company, which became the Airbus Group in 2014. “We will reveal the results when the investigation is closed,” the Airbus statement said. Source AFP

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