K Line Hit with Criminal Cartel Charges in Australia

Japan-based shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) is facing criminal charges in relation to alleged cartel conduct concerning the international shipping of cars, trucks, and buses to Australia between July 2009 and September 2012.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said that the criminal charges have been laid against the company and that the matter was before the Downing Centre Local Court for a first mention on November 15, 2016.

This is the second matter in which criminal charges have been laid against a corporation under the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

K-Line’s compatriot shipping firm, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), pleaded guilty to criminal cartel conduct in Australia’s federal court earlier this year.

“This is the first criminal charge laid against a corporation under the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in July 2016.

According to ACCC, the maximum fine for each criminal cartel offence will be the greater of AUD 10 million (USD 7.6 million); three times the total benefits that have been obtained and are reasonably attributable to the commission of the offence; or, if the total of the benefits cannot be determined, ten percent of the corporation’s annual turnover connected with Australia.

ACCC said that its investigation into other alleged cartel participants is continuing.

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