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EU: Carriers cut pricing deal

 |  February 17, 2016

Fifteen leading ocean container carriers, including Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM, have offered to change their practices for setting freight rates to settle an antitrust probe, the European Commission said today.

The EU’s executive agency said interested third parties have a month to submit comments before it formally accepts the offer and closes the investigation without taking any action against the carriers.

The carriers have told EU investigators that their offer to change pricing practices is not an acknowledgement they have violated the 28-nation bloc’s competition rules.

Commission competition regulators opened an investigation into the carriers’ implementation of general rate increases in 2013 following dawn raids at the carriers’ offices across Europe two years earlier.

The Commission said it had concerns that GRI announcements “may not provide full information on new prices to customers but merely allow carriers to explore each other’s pricing intentions and coordinate their behavior,” breaching EU competition rules’ ban on concerted practices.

Full content: JOC

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