China fines shipping firms over price-fixing

The NDRC said shipping firms collaborated to keep prices high. Picture: Natalie Behring-Chisholm/Getty Images

The NDRC said shipping firms collaborated to keep prices high. Picture: Natalie Behring-Chisholm/Getty Images

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China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has fined seven major international shipping companies the equivalent of £42 million for price-fixing as part of an anti-monopoly crackdown.

In a year-long investigation, the regulator found that Korean, Japanese and European shipping companies that carry vehicles met over four years to co-ordinate bids and routes to keep prices high on routes linking China with Europe, North America and Latin America.

The companies fined include Japan’s Mitsui OSK Lines, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and Eastern Car Liner, Norway’s Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, Chile’s Sud Americana de Vapores and South Korea’s Eukor Car Carriers, with the latter having to pay the largest fine.

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The regulator also said the fines are equivalent to 4 to 9 per cent of the firms’ international China-related shipping revenues.

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