The Federal Court in Australia has convicted Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) of criminal cartel conduct over its car carrying activities and ordered it to pay a fine of A$25m ($20m): the second-highest imposed in Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) history.
ACCC chairman Rod Sims commented: “The Australian community relies heavily on imported vehicles, so a longstanding cartel in relation to the transportation of those vehicles to Australia was of significant concern.”
Justice Wigney stated the fine “incorporates a global discount of 50% for NYK’s early plea of guilty and past and future assistance and cooperation, together with the contrition inherent in the early plea and cooperation: meaning that but for the early plea and past and future cooperation, the fine would have been A$50m”.
“The sentence imposed on NYK by the Federal Court today sends a strong warning to the industry and the business community at large. The CDPP and ACCC can and will criminally prosecute cartel conduct. It also highlights that parties who engage early and cooperate with the authorities may be shown leniency,” ACCC’s Sims said.
Other shipping lines are likely to be hit with fines from the same Australian court soon.