Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) has pleaded guilty in Australia’s Federal Court to criminal cartel conduct, following an investigation by the Australian Competition Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australian media report.
The maximum fine for a criminal cartel offence is said to be the greater of US$10 million.
Rod Sims, Chairman of the ACCC, said: “This is the first criminal charge laid against a corporation under the criminal cartel provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act.”
The criminal cartel conduct reportedly took place via the shipment of vehicles into to Australia from July, 2009 to September, 2012.
This news follows a recent announcement that a number of leading carriers, including Maersk and MSC, had escaped EU penalties after a five-year probe into the way shipping companies announce price increases.
NYK has recently joined up with Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, ‘K’ Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Yang Ming to form THE Alliance, which is scheduled to begin operations in April, 2017.