October 1 - Both Panalpina and Kuehne + Nagel have announced the settlement of certain claims arising from an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ) for violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Panalpina says that as part of the resolution, it has entered into a plea agreement with the DOJ . Under the terms of the plea agreement, which is subject to court approval, Panalpina will enter guilty pleas to three counts of conspiring to violate the Sherman Act , and will pay a fine of approximately USD 12 million.

Meanwhile, under its own agreement, Kuehne + Nagel will plead guilty to violations of the same act relating to conduct of five of its subsidiaries in establishing certain surcharges for international air freight forwarding services and will agree to pay a fine of around USD 9.865 million.

Both companies said that they cooperated intensively with the DOJ throughout the investigation and take their obligations and commitment to abide by all laws including the anti-trust laws very seriously.

Each say that they have reviewed and reinforced their anti-trust compliance programme to always ensure compliance with the highest available standards

HLPFI understands that the plea agreement releases each company from further prosecution in the USA.

Panalpina stated that administrative proceedings related to such conduct are still ongoing in the European Union, in Switzerland and New Zealand. In Brazil authorities announced preliminary investigations against the freight forwarding industry in mid August 2010. Respective cases in Canada and Australia have been dropped.

Panalpina also said that it has provided competition law training to its employees on a global basis, rolled out a newCode of Conduct , and has created a new Compliance Department , led by a corporate compliance officer and staffed with dedicated compliance personnel stationed throughout the world.