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NYK pleads guilty to car carrier cartel charges

Japan’s Nippon Yusen Kaisha has pleaded guilty to criminal cartel behavior at Australia’s federal court.

On Friday, Splash reported the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had brought charges against NYK, one of the world’s largest shipping lines.

“This is the first criminal charge laid against a corporation under the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said in a statement today.

“This matter relates to alleged cartel conduct in connection with the transportation of vehicles, including cars, trucks and buses, to Australia between July 2009 and September 2012,” he added.

Sentencing is likely in September. NYK faces hefty fines of up to A$10m ($7.64m), 10% of its annual turnover or three times their ill-gotten gains, whichever is larger, while individuals can be jailed for up to 10 years.

NYK has had its fair share of cartel strife of late. In March this year an NYK employee in the US was jailed for 15 months following a car carrier price fixing probe.

In March 2014 Japan’s Fair Trade Commission ordered NYK to pay Y13bn ($12.2m) on another price fixing misdemanour.

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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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