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 Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Tanker with Iraqi Kurdish Oil Anchors off Texas Port

A tanker carrying crude oil from Iraqi Kurdistan was anchored near the Port of Galveston, Texas, and must undergo a routine safety inspection by the U.S. Coast

Panama's Alfonso Castillero Moves to Liberian Registry

The Liberian Registry informs that Alfonso Castillero, former Director-General of the Panama Registry, has joined their organization as Vice-President. Castillero

BV Group Launches Maritime Pilot Phase

Bureau Veritas Group Launched Maritime Pilot Phase for its Single Window for Foreign Trade in Togo. The ceremony took place in Lomé, under the patronage of the President of the Republic,

Ports

Location of New Port Expansion Projects: Analysis

When it comes to port development, many governments now favour letting the market decide where expansion should take place, whereas most other transport infrastructure,

GAC North America Passes the Helm to Schensema

GAC says it  has moved Claus Schensema to Houston, Texas, where he will take up the post of Managing Director of GAC North America Logistics. Schensema brings

Intelligent grabbing technology SmartGrip by Liebherr

For the mobile harbour crane range Liebherr has developed an intelligent system which optimises grab filling rates in a self-learning manner. In a comprehensive study,

Finance

Diana Shipping Invests in Diana Containerships

Diana Shipping Inc., a global shipping company specializing in the ownership of dry bulk vessels, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to purchase

Coast Guard Responds to Grounded Freighter in Lake St. Clair

The Coast Guard has responded Sunday to a 656-foot freighter that was hard aground in the downbound shipping channel of Lake St. Clair. Initial reports indicate

Leighton HY14 net margin Up to 2.7%

Leighton Holdings announced its results for the six months to 30 June 2014.   * Total revenue of $11.9 billion, up on HY13 * EBITDAiii of $843 million. Comparable EBITDAiv of $945 million,

RoRo

MES Gets First Order for ME-GI Marine Engine

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES) has received the first order of electronically controlled gas injection diesel engine (ME-GI) for MES. MAN B&W 8S70ME-C8.

Peel Ports Enters 10-year Deal with Volkswagen

Peel Ports Medway signs 10-year deal with Volkswagen Group UK; new multimillion pound facility will generate 100 new jobs and add more than 50,000 car imports Peel

Trailer Bridge Vessel Returns to Service

Following required regulatory inspections along with regular scheduled maintenance in Mobile, Alabama, the Trailer Bridge Ro/Ro vessel the Jax - San Juan Bridge (JSB) returned to service on July 5.

Government Update

Tripoli Airport Ablaze, Rockets Leave Libya in Chaos

Diplomats flee Libyan chaos; Politicians appeal for international intervention. Clashes in Tripoli, Benghazi kill around 160 over two weeks, while Libyan capital face fuel, power shortages.

South Korean Teens: Left to Escape Sinking Ferry

Students testify no help came from crew; Coastguard rescuers were passive, only pulling passengers out. Crew in a state of panic, witness says. Six teenagers

New Australian Navy Submarines to be Japan Built?

Australia should discuss building its next-generation fleet of submarines overseas, the Department of Defence said on Monday, a shift that could open the door to

Logistics

Private Buyers in Iran Look to Boost Grain Market

One sign of change in Iran as it works toward a nuclear deal with world powers is the way it is feeding itself, with private grain firms beginning a slow return

Location of New Port Expansion Projects: Analysis

When it comes to port development, many governments now favour letting the market decide where expansion should take place, whereas most other transport infrastructure,

GAC North America Passes the Helm to Schensema

GAC says it  has moved Claus Schensema to Houston, Texas, where he will take up the post of Managing Director of GAC North America Logistics. Schensema brings

 
 
Maritime Contracts Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.1389 sec (7 req/sec)