World’s Biggest Carriers Cleared in Anti-Trust Probe

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Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), three of the biggest container shipping lines in the world, have been cleared of any wrongdoing following an antitrust investigation by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

The DoJ began its investigation into possible price fixing in the container shipping industry in March 2017 and issued subpoenas to several top executives.

However, Maersk, MSC and Hapag-Lloyd, the biggest, second and fifth biggest container lines respectively, all said the investigation, which is now closed, had cleared them.

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In a statement published by Reuters, Maersk said: “We are pleased to confirm that the United States Department of Justice has closed its investigation into containerised shipping and has released Maersk from any obligations under the Grand Jury subpoenas issued during the March 2017 meeting of the International Council of Containership Operators.”

A Hapag-Lloyd spokesman was also quoted in Reuters: “Hapag-Lloyd was informed that the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division is closing its investigation without charges against the company, its affiliates or any other current or former employees.”

The news agency also said MSC had been informed that the investigation was closed and no charge or penalty will be brought.

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