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Airbus fined $128 million over Taiwan missile affair

Staff Writer |
Airbus said it had been fined €104 million ($128 million) for a dispute dating from 1992 over missile sales to Taiwan by the Matra group, which was later acquired by the aerospace giant.

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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, which joined the Airbus group in 1998, said for its part it was "studying the fine and evaluating next steps", the statement said, AFP reported.

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 ($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.

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