Höegh Autoliners likely to challenge Brazilian cartel fines

Höegh Autoliners is looking at contesting a fine dished out by Brazilian authorities in one of many car carrier cartel investigations that have been going on around the world.

The Administrative Council for Economic Defence (CADE) in Brazil issued a fine of approximately BRL26m ($5.4m) to Höegh Autoliners for breach of anti-trust regulations dating back to 2000 to 2012.

Since Höegh Autoliners did not have any turnover in Brazil in the relevant period, the fine is calculated on a so-called virtual turnover principle, based on Brazil’s relevance in the worldwide car carrier market. The decision – including the virtual turnover calculation – may be challenged before the federal courts in Brazil.

“Höegh Autoliners disagrees with CADE’s decision, and will review its merits thoroughly before making any decision on how to proceed,” the company stated in an update to the Oslo Bors yesterday.

Höegh Autoliners has, along with many other global car carrier operators, been subject to anti-trust investigations in different jurisdictions. Before CADE’s decision yesterday, investigations had been finalised in nine jurisdictions, seven of which resulted in no charges or punitive action taken against Höegh Autoliners.

Höegh Autoliners stressed yesterday it has “strongly and continuously rebutted” any claims of wrongdoings in Brazil.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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