The European Commission (EC) issued the final report on The Application of Competition Rules to Liner Shipping . The report concludes that repealing the EU block exemption for liner shipping would lead to moderate price declines and would have a positive impact on service reliability. The report does recommend, though, that the liner companies be allowed to engage in limited information exchange, but not as extensive as the liner companies have proposed. According to the EC Press Release accompanying the report, the review process will culminate with a Commission proposal to the EU’s Council of Ministers to repeal the Block Exemption Regulation by the end of the year. Curiously, the report is accompanied by the following disclaimer: “This report was produced by Global Insight, Berlin University of Technology (WIP) and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL), for the Competition DG and the represents the authors’ views on the subject matter. These views have not been adopted or in any way approved by the Commission and should not be relied upon as a statement of the Commission’s or the DG Competition’s views. The European Commission does
not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this report, nor does it accept responsibility for any use made thereof.” It sounds to me like the EC wants it both ways.
Source: HK Law