Italy’s antitrust authority fined 15 liner shipping agents and two trade associations a total of more than $5.3 million for fixing prices in the Port of Genoa.
The shipping agents participated in a secret cartel that set prices for services, including issuing bills of lading for exports and delivery orders for imports, from February 2004 through December 2009, the authority, AGCM, said.
Maersk Italia, Maersk Line’s Italian unit, participated in the price fixing, but was not fined because it provided the initial information that enabled the authority to expose the cartel. Hapag-Lloyd Italy’s fine was halved to $322,000 because it provided additional information about the cartel’s activities.
The cartel exerted “a significant impact on the market for maritime transport,” according to AGCM. While most of its members were based in Genoa, their fixed prices acted as a reference for transactions in other Italian ports, including Gioia Tauro, the container transshipment hub, and La Spezia.
French carrier CMA CGM attracted the biggest fine of $1.18 million followed by China’s Coscon at $965,000 and "K" Line of Japan, $575,000.
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