October 4 - Further to our report on Friday, HLPFI has now learned that six international freight forwarders have agreed to plead guilty and pay criminal fines totaling USD50.27 million for their roles in several conspiracies to fix a variety of fees and
These are the first charges filed as a result of the department's antitrust investigation of the freight forwarding industry.
According to charges filed separately last Thursday (30th) in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, six companies - EGL Inc, of Houston; Kühne + Nagel International AG of Switzerland (K+N); Geologistics International Management (Bermuda) Limited, based in Hamilton, Bermuda; Panalpina World Transport(Holding) of Switzerland; Schenker AG, of Germany; and BAX Global Inc of Ohio - engaged in one or more separate conspiracies to impose certain charges or fees on customers purchasing international freight forwarding services for cargo freight destined for air shipment to the United States during various periods between 2002 and 2007.
Under the plea agreements, which are subject to court approval, the six companies have agreed to pay the following criminal fines: EGL, USD4.486 m; K+N, USD9.865 m; Geologistics, USD687,960; Panalpina, USD11.947 m; Schenker, USD 3.535 m; and BAX Global, USD19.745 m. The Department of Justice said that each company has also agreed to cooperate with the department's ongoing antitrust investigation.
"The department's investigation uncovered six different conspiracies harming businesses and consumers in the United States and across the globe," said Christine Varney, assistant attorney general in charge of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. "Our investigation continues in this important industry."