Chile’s National Prosecutor’s Office (FNE) is seeking USD 75 million in fines against six Chilean, South Korean and Japanese shipping companies for colluding to raise prices on shipping cars into the country.
On Wednesday, January 28, FNE filed a lawsuit at the Court of Defense of Free Competition (TDLC) against Chile’s Compania Sud Americana de Vapores SA (CSAV) and CCNI, South Korean Eukor Car Carriers and Japan’s Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line). FNE accused the six carriers of price fixing between 2000 and 2012, which affected a total of 18 customer accounts.
”The agreements between the shippers were executed in maritime routes to the ports of Europe, America and Asia, which account for 90.7% of local imports. Firms accused by the FNE concentrated 99.6%, 92.1% and 86% of market share on these routes, respectively,” said FNA in a statement.
FNE is asking for a USD 25 million fine for Eukor, while CCNI, K-Line and MOL will have to pay USD 12.5 million each if found guilty.
FNE has waived the fine against CSAV for revealing the Chilean scheme, and NYK Line will get a 50% break on the account of its cooperation during the investigation.
Earlier this week, K-Line executive was sentenced to 18 months in a U.S. prison for his involvement in a conspiracy to fix prices in the car carrier business. Back in November, K Line paid USD 67.7 million having plead guilty of violating U.S. antitrust laws.
World Maritime News Staff; Image: Eukor