Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Yet Another RoRo Freight Cartel Member Fined Millions for Antitrust Cargo Activity

Japanese Firm is No Stranger to Commission Punishment
Shipping News Feature
AUSTRALIA – Following an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Japanese RoRo cargo carrier Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), has pleaded guilty to criminal cartel conduct in the Federal Court, and will now face a minimum fine of A$10 million. NYK is no stranger to antitrust action from competition commissions around the world having already been penalised millions for similar freight cartel activities elsewhere.

According to ACCC Chairman Rod Sim, this is the first criminal charge laid against a corporation under the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act whilst the ACCC's investigation into other alleged cartel participants is continuing. NYK are accused of colluding with competitors to restrain trade in international ocean shipments of RoRo cargo, to and from Australia between July 2009 and September 2012.

NYK is one of the world’s largest shipping companies, with offices in Europe, Africa, East Asia, South Asia, China, Oceania, and North and South America. It has over 33,000 employees and Is headquartered in Tokyo. It also operates an Australian subsidiary, NYK Line (Australia) Pty Ltd.

The charge was laid by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) under section 44ZZRG of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) on 14 July 2016. The matter is next scheduled for a directions hearing in the Federal Court on 12 September 2016. As with so many other cases of this nature we may well expect the ramifications from this one to run for some time.