The Tokyo High Court upheld an antitrust ruling by the Japan Fair Trade Commission against major international freight forwarder Yusen Logistics on Friday.
Yusen Logistics said in a statement, “On Nov. 9, 2012, the Tokyo High Court did not accept the assertion of the company and rendered a judgment for dismissal with prejudice on the merits, and the company lost the case.”
Yusen Logistics said it will consider whether to appeal the Tokyo High Court ruling to the Supreme Court. “The company will closely examine the content of the Tokyo High Court judgment and determine its response,” Yusen Logistics said.
The Tokyo-based company is the logistics arm of Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, Japan’s largest shipping firm by sales.
JFTC ordered 12 international freight forwarders, including Yusen Logistics, in March 2009 to pay a total of about $113.2 million in administrative fines for forming a cartel to raise air cargo charges. Yusen Logistics was ordered to pay a fine of $21.6 million.
But Yusen Logistics concluded that it could not accept JFTC’s cease-and-desist and fine orders over the case and filed a complaint with JFTC in April 2009, demanding the antitrust authority’s initiation of quasi-judicial hearings to review the orders.
In July 2011, JFTC handed down a ruling dismissing Yusen Logistics’ complaint against the orders. The company quickly appealed the JFTC ruling to the Tokyo High Court.
Among the 12 companies punished by JFTC in the case are Japan’s three biggest international freight forwarders — Nippon Express and Kintetsu World Express, as well as Yusen Logistics.
JFTC claimed the 12 international forwarders illegally restricted competition by forming the cartel to add fuel surcharges and airport security charges to air cargo service charges.
While contesting JFTC’s cease-and-desist and fine orders, Yusen Logistics paid the $21.6 million fine. In fiscal 2008, which ended on March 31, 2009, Yusen Logistics saw its group net profit nose-dive 85.1 percent from the previous fiscal year, primarily because of an extraordinary loss stemming from the fine payment.
Yusen Logistics said in its Friday statement that the Tokyo High Court ruling “will have no impact on the company’s future financial performance.”