Russian competition regulators have raided the local offices of leading European and Asian ocean carriers as part of a probe into possible cartel activities.
The Federal Anti-Monopoly Service said it had begun investigating 12 carriers and a logistics company on Feb. 11 “upon signs of violating the anti-monopoly law of the Russian Federation.”
The companies under investigation include the world’s three largest carriers — Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co and CMA CGM — but not Fesco, Russia’s leading container shipping line.
The investigation covers deep-sea and inland container transport.
The FAS noted that regulators in the U.S., the European Union and some Asian countries have investigated carriers, “and based on the findings, undertook measures to eliminate violations of their national anti-monopoly laws.”
The European Commission raided the European offices of 12 ocean carriers, including Maersk, in May 2011, saying it had “reason to believe the companies concerned may have violated the antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive practices and/or abuse of a dominant market position.”
The commission said the investigation is ongoing.
The other carriers being investigated in Russia are: APL, NYK Line, “K” Line, OOCL, China Shipping, Cosco, Hyundai, Zim Integrated Shipping Services, Evergreen and the logistics company Ocean Container Services.
The Russian deep-sea container shipping market is estimated to be worth around $2 billion a year.