China fines shipping companies for price fixing

Chinese regulators have fined eight international sea freight shipping companies 407 million yuan, or 62.86 million U.S. dollars for price fixing.

According to the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), China’s economic planner, Japan’s NYK Line and “K” Line and Chile’s CSAV are among the fined.

The punishment came after a more-than-one-year investigation, which found the companies had exercised price manipulation for shipping vehicles and engineering machinery on major lines for at least four years.

And these firms were also found that they had reached agreements of “mutual non-aggression” and cooperated to jointly raise prices.

The practices restrained market competition, boosted shipping costs and harmed the interests of traders and consumers.

The NDRC imposed fines of four to nine percent of the companies’ revenues of their related China business in 2014.

Japan’s NYK was exempted from penalty as it actively reported the monopoly agreement and provided major evidence, while EUKOR received the highest fine of 284 million yuan.

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