India’s Antitrust Body Investigates Global Delivery Giants for Alleged Collusion
India’s antitrust regulator, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), has initiated an investigation into the domestic units of global delivery giants, including Germany’s DHL, United States-based United Parcel Service (UPS), and FedEx. The probe focuses on allegations of collusion regarding discounts and tariffs, as revealed by documents obtained by Reuters.
This investigation marks the latest scrutiny faced by the logistics industry, with some cases dating back to 2015 when France imposed fines totaling US$735 million on 20 companies, including FedEx and DHL. The fines were a result of a revelation that these companies had engaged in secret collusion to increase prices.
The CCI’s recent inquiry, which began in October 2022, is centered on the fees charged by logistics companies for airport services. Government documents and three undisclosed sources indicate that the antitrust body is currently reviewing hundreds of thousands of emails as part of the investigation.
The impetus for the inquiry originated from a complaint filed by the Federation of Indian Publishers, alleging that DHL, FedEx, UPS, and Dubai’s Aramex, in conjunction with certain domestic firms, were collectively determining charges and controlling customer discounts. If proven true, such actions would constitute a violation of Indian antitrust laws.
According to the documents, the publishers asserted that executives from these companies exchanged commercially sensitive information related to volumes, charges, and discounts on courier and storage services provided at airports. This exchange allegedly occurred before the companies collectively decided on the rates to be charged to customers.
The CCI’s investigation adds to the growing global scrutiny of the logistics industry, emphasizing the need for fair competition and transparency in the marketplace.
Source: Business Time