FMC clears up confusion about its rejection of Japanese containerline merger

The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has issued an update in its decision of last Tuesday to reject the so-called Tripartite Agreement, which proposed the merging of three prominent Japanese shipping lines.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line), Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) and Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) are the country’s three largest container shipping companies.

An updated statement on Monday was made by FMC, it said, to clarify some confusion and misinformation that had circulated in the week since.

In particular, said the FMC statement, its rejection of the proposed deal was not because it violated US antitrust laws about premature combining of parties’ business operations or sharing of information.

Rather, the FMC explained, the actual reason for rejection is that the Tripartite Agreement falls outside the jurisdiction of the Shipping Act of 1984.

Acting FMC chairman Michael Khouri elaborated, saying that: “…Congress gave the Commission the power to review cooperative agreements that produce efficiencies, in order to prevent consolidation”. But the Tripartite Agreement is not that kind of arrangement, he said.

Donal Scully

With 28 years experience writing and editing for newspapers in the UK and Hong Kong, Donal is now based in California from where he covers the Americas for Splash as well as ensuring the site is loaded through the Western Hemisphere timezone.
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