South Korea’s antitrust watchdog throws Maersk a curveball in its pursuit of Hamburg Sud

Maersk Line’s takeover of Hamburg Sud has hit a speed-bump in South Korea where the local antitrust watchdog has demanded the latter pull out of a number of vessel sharing agreements.

The two firms have had their $4bn merger plans approved by most nations but South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission has demanded Hamburg Sud exit vessel sharing agreements on a couple of Asia-Latin America services.

Maersk has quickly responded to the setback, saying it is happy to take Hamburg Sud out of the vessel sharing agreements in question and it still thinks South Korean authorities will green light the merger this week.

Combined Maersk and Hamburg Sud will have a fleet of nearly 4.1m slots, nearly 1m slots more than their nearest competitor, MSC.

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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