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Chile is to fine six shipping companies a total of nearly $75m for price fixing.

The country’s National Economic Prosecutor found the companies’ actions had affected 18 customer accounts for a period of 12 years, starting in 2000.

CSAV, CCNI, EUKOR Car Carriers, K-Line, MOL and NYK Line offered their services for a high price and with unattractive terms to customers – or would not tender for the contract at all – in a co-ordinated effort to not compete, said the National Economic Prosecutor.

The shipping lines were last year convicted of the same offence in the US. CSAV was the whistleblower, and so avoided the fine, while NYK received a 50% discount for co-operation.

On Friday, Hiroshige Tanioka, a manager at Japan’s Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line) pleaded guilty to conspiring to fix prices and was sentenced by the US courts to 18 months in prison.

The court alleged that Mr Tanioka conspired to allocate customers and routes, and fix bids and prices for the sale of international ocean shipments of roll-on rol-off cargo to and from the US.

Mr Tanioka, who was also fined $20,000, is the first individual in the case to be sentenced. K-Line must pay a criminal fine of $67.7m.

Meanwhile the Department of Justice is continuing with its investigation into price-fixing.

In the air freight cartel cases, DB Schenker has been joined in its German lawsuit– claiming up to $2.19bn from 11 airlines – by BMW and Continental, according to the German press. Kuehne + Nagel, Panalpina and Bosch have also joined the case

DB Schenker has also submitted the case in the US. But Qantas, All Nippon Airways and Cargolux are attempting to have it dismissed. On Friday, Schenker’s lawyers filed motions arguing against their claims. The Australian carrier had argued that Schenker filed its case too late on the basis of the Clayton Act’s four year statute of limitations, saying that its claim accrued no later than February 15 2006 – making it 68 days late. But the logistics company noted that Qantas itself was not under investigation until May 2006, three months after the February raids were carried out, while the carrier did not make that public until  August 2006, well within the time period.

Meanwhile Cargolux and All Nippon Airways have argued that the case should not be heard in the US, but in Germany, as a “more appropriate forum”. Under  US antitrust law, the claim could receive treble damages, taking the full amount up from $370m to $1.1bn.

But Schenker argues that the “defendants completely ignore the fact that Schenker chose to litigate in the United States because its injuries occurred here, and because this court already has extensive familiarity with this case, due to its oversight of the related class action”.

It adds: “They further ignore the United States’ interest in seeking to redress antitrust injuries occurring on its own soil. These paramount interests alone compel a denial of the defendants’ motion.”

It also said that the defendants had not submitted sufficient argument as to why Germany should be the better place to try all claims. The case continues.

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  • shaji

    February 17, 2015 at 4:06 am

    It’s surprising to see DB Schenker and other forwarders fight these cartels claiming damages but does not provide sufficient insight on the enormous profits tt they make wch clearly indicates overpricing. This also shows that apart from the profits that they made they still want to make further gains. They have never stated that they will return part of huge profits made and the claim money back to the impacted companies or end customers.