Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Another Antitrust Investigation into International Container Freight Carriers Under Way

Once Again Major Groups Implicated in Scandal
Shipping News Feature
PERU – The Peruvian antitrust authority, the National Institute for the Defence of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi), has opened disciplinary proceedings against 17 international container freight carriers over allegations that the companies conspired to fix prices and commercial terms on shipments to and from Peru between, at least, 2009 and 2013. Indecopi collected evidence from minutes of meetings, communications, and electronic files during inspection visits which suggested that the companies involved established a platform to coordinate, via their shipping agents, inflated rates for freight and surcharges on cargo carried on the Peru-Asian routes.

The investigated shipping lines include American President Lines (APL), CMA CGM, Chilean Maritime Company (formerly Compania Chilena de Interoceanic Navigation), American Steamship Company, Hamburg Süd, Hapag Lloyd, K Line, Maersk Line, MSC, MOL, and NYK. Other maritime or general agencies involved in this alleged infringement include APM Terminals Inland Services, as well as some of the Peruvian branches of the previously named shippers.

Indecopi says this latest series of actions confirms its commitment to investigate and prosecute conduct that restricts the free development of competition in the Peruvian market, in particular areas of commerce most relevant to the national economy and consumer welfare. Cartel type activity in international trade and, specifically as in this case the ocean shipping market, is detrimental to the Peruvian economy and will be prosecuted with due diligence, as has previously happened in so many other geographical regions.

Enter keywords such as cartel or antitrust in the search box at the head of any page to see how many prosecutions of this type have been the scourge of the logistics sector in recent years.

Photo: The Port of Callao.