The European Commission (EC) has fined four shipping lines a total of EUR395 million (USD486.95 million) for colluding in the maritime transport of cars.
The EC found that the Chilean maritime carrier CSAV, the Japanese carriers "K" Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and NYK, and the Norwegian/Swedish carrier WWL-Eukor, participated in a cartel concerning intercontinental maritime transport of vehicles.
MOL received full immunity for revealing the existence of the cartel, thereby avoiding a fine of approximately EUR203 million (USD250.25 million).
According to the commission from October 2006 to September 2012, the five carriers formed a cartel in the market for deepsea transport of new cars, trucks and other large vehicles such as combine harvesters and tractors, on various routes between Europe and other continents.
The EC's investigation revealed that the carriers coordinated prices, allocated customers, and exchanged commercially sensitive information such as charges and surcharges added to prices to offset currency or oil prices fluctuations.
All companies acknowledged their involvement in the cartels and agreed to settle the cases.