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Shipping Companies' 'Concerted' Fee Hikes Probed

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

26 November 2013


Many of the world's largest container liner shipping companies are being investigated by the European Commission to ascertain whether they have engaged in "concerted practices" to uniformly raise shipping fees on EU routes.

The Commission explained that, since 2009, these companies have been making regular public announcements of price increase intentions through press releases and in specialized trade press. The announcements are usually made by the companies, successively, a few weeks before the announced implementation date. Made several times a year, the announcements contain the amount of increase and the date of implementation, which have been generally similar for all announcing companies, the Commission has identified.

The Commission has raised concerns that this practice may allow the companies to signal future price intentions to each other and may harm competition and customers by raising prices on the market for container liner shipping transport services on routes to and from Europe, potentially breaching EU antitrust rules. The Commission's investigation was launched on November 22, 2013, and reportedly covers 14 companies.

TAGS: marine

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