U.S. DOJ: First Guilty Plea in RO-RO Price Fixing Scandal

marinelink.com
Friday, February 28, 2014

South American Company Agrees to Plead Guilty to Price Fixing on Ocean Shipping Services for Cars and Trucks. First Charges in the Department’s Antitrust Investigation Involving Ocean Shipping Services; Conspiracy Affected Global Cargo Shipments, Including at Port of Baltimore.

Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores S.A. (CSAV), a Chilean corporation, has agreed to plead guilty and to pay an $8.9 million criminal fine for its involvement in a conspiracy to fix prices, allocate customers and rig bids of international ocean shipping services for roll-on, roll-off cargo, such as cars and trucks, to and from the United States and elsewhere, the Department of Justice announced today.

According to a one-count felony charge filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland in Baltimore, CSAV engaged in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by allocating customers and routes, rigging bids and fixing prices for the sale of international ocean shipping services of roll-on, roll-off cargo to and from the United States and elsewhere, including the Port of Baltimore.  CSAV participated in the conspiracy from at least January 2000 to September 2012.  CSAV has also agreed to cooperate with the department’s ongoing antitrust investigation.  The plea agreement is subject to court approval.

Roll-on, roll-off cargo is non-containerized cargo that can be both rolled onto and rolled off of an ocean-going vessel.  Examples of this cargo include new and used cars and trucks, as well as construction, mining and agricultural equipment.

“Today’s charges are the first to be filed in the Antitrust Division’s investigation into bid rigging and price fixing of ocean shipping services,” said Bill Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  “Because of the growth in the automobile ocean shipping industry over the past 40 years, the conspiracy substantially affected interstate and foreign commerce.  Prosecuting international price-fixing conspiracies remains a top priority for the division."

According to the charge, CSAV and its co-conspirators carried out the conspiracy by, among other things, agreeing – during meetings and communications – on prices, allocating customers, agreeing to refrain from bidding against one another and exchanging customer pricing information.  The department said the companies then charged fees in accordance with those agreements for international ocean shipping services for certain roll-on, roll-off cargo to and from the United States and elsewhere at collusive and non-competitive prices.

CSAV is charged with price fixing in violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum penalty of a $100 million criminal fine for corporations.  The maximum fine may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.

Today’s charge is the result of an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into price fixing, bid rigging, and other anticompetitive conduct in the international ocean shipping industry, which is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s National Criminal Enforcement Section and the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office, along with assistance from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Internal Affairs, Washington Field Office/Special Investigations Unit.   Anyone with information in connection with this investigation is urged to call the Antitrust Division’s National Criminal Enforcement Section at 202-307-6694, visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.html, or call the FBI’s Baltimore Field Office at 410-265-8080.

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter April 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Royal Caribbean's Revenue up 5.6%

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd reported a 5.6 percent rise in quarterly revenue, helped by higher passenger ticket revenue and onboard spending, sending the company's

ICS Criticises 'Prestige’ Judgement by Spanish Court

At a meeting of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPCF) this week, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has strongly criticised the judgement

French Wheat Exports Await Indonesia Approval

French wheat exports to Indonesia are on hold as traders await the approval of a food safety agreement between the two countries, something exporters say is being

Ports

Asia Tankers-VLCCs Rates Ease as Tanker Jams Fade

Port congestion eases at Basra and Chinese ports; tanker demand set to expand on lower oil prices. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), hurt by slower-than-usual release of cargo,

EU Clears CMA CGM, NOL Merger, with Conditions

The European Commission said on Friday it had cleared French shipping group CMA CGM's $2.4 billion takeover of Neptune Orient Lines on condition that NOL pulls out from a rival shipping alliance.

WILCO Logistics Bags Townsville Port Safety Works

WILCO Logistics Pty Ltd has been announced as the successful bid contractor on Breakwater safety works at the Port of Townsville.   Minister for Ports Mark Bailey said the overall $1.

Finance

Oil Rally is Not Just About Hedge Funds: Kemp

Oil prices are becoming dangerously overheated as speculators anticipate a rebalancing of supply and demand that has barely started, according to many oil analysts.

SCHOTTEL Debuts EcoPeller with High-torque Gears

Propulsion and steering systems manufacturer SCHOTTEL has unveiled its new EcoPeller (SRE), which it said offers improved efficiency and robustness. Playing a

Asia Tankers-VLCCs Rates Ease as Tanker Jams Fade

Port congestion eases at Basra and Chinese ports; tanker demand set to expand on lower oil prices. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), hurt by slower-than-usual release of cargo,

RoRo

Another Mission Needed to Recover El Faro’s VDR

The investigative team who located the El Faro’s voyage data recorder (VDR) has determined that another mission will be necessary in order to retrieve the device,

MacGregor's RoRo Access Systems for Car Carriers in Japan

MacGregor has received orders from two Japanese yards to deliver comprehensive RoRo access equipment packages for four car carriers. The equipment will be delivered during Q3 in 2017.

El Faro’s Voyage Data Recorder Located

The voyage data recorder (VDR) belonging to sunken cargo ship El Faro was found early Tuesday morning in 15,000 feet of water, about 41 miles northeast of Acklins and Crooked Islands,

Government Update

Pacific Nations Take a Stand on Shipping Emissions

On Earth Day, Pacific leaders queued among 175 countries to sign the Paris Agreement in New York. Earlier that day in London, the International Maritime Organization (IMO),

EU Clears CMA CGM, NOL Merger, with Conditions

The European Commission said on Friday it had cleared French shipping group CMA CGM's $2.4 billion takeover of Neptune Orient Lines on condition that NOL pulls out from a rival shipping alliance.

How France Sank Japan's Sub Dream

Ousting of Japan ally PM Abbott opened door to rivals; Tokyo slow to respond to new competitive process. In 2014, a blossoming friendship between Australian

Logistics

Asia Tankers-VLCCs Rates Ease as Tanker Jams Fade

Port congestion eases at Basra and Chinese ports; tanker demand set to expand on lower oil prices. Freight rates for very large crude carriers (VLCCs), hurt by slower-than-usual release of cargo,

Royal Caribbean's Revenue up 5.6%

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd reported a 5.6 percent rise in quarterly revenue, helped by higher passenger ticket revenue and onboard spending, sending the company's

Aging Seaborne Steel Products

In 2015, seaborne steel products trade accounted for around a fifth of minor bulk trade, having grown on average by 6 percent per annum since 2010, according to Clarksons Research.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2182 sec (5 req/sec)