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Australia: K-Line convicted of criminal cartel conduct

 |  August 4, 2019

Japanese shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line) has been convicted of criminal cartel conduct and ordered by the Australian Federal Court to pay a fine of AU$34.5 million (US$23.5 million).

The Federal Court found K-Line engaged in a cartel with other shipping companies in order to fix prices on the transportation of cars, trucks, and buses to Australia between 2009 and 2012.

K-Line’s fine of AU$34.5 million is the largest ever criminal fine imposed under the Competition and Consumer Act. K-Line pleaded guilty on April 5, 2018, following an extensive criminal investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the laying of charges by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

The cartel operated from at least February 1997, and impacted the transportation prices of cars, trucks, and buses to Australia from the US, Asia, and various European countries. K-Line, and other shipping lines transported these vehicles on behalf of major car manufacturers such as Nissan, Suzuki, Honda, Toyota, and Isuzu and others.

“We welcome the Court’s decision and the significant penalty imposed on K-Line,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

Full Content: ACCC

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