Japanese shipping companies Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd. (“K” Line) were respectively fined $1.5 million and $460,000 by the Ontario Superior Court today for their role in an international conspiracy that reduced competition for the shipment of vehicles to Canada.
NYK and “K” Line both pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy under the Competition Act. The companies admitted to agreeing with certain suppliers to increase the base freight rates they proposed to certain vehicle manufacturers in Japan for the supply of “roll-on/roll-off” services for shipments to Canada, in relation to fiscal year 2008 contract negotiations.
In addition, “K” Line pleaded guilty to one count of bid-rigging under the Competition Act. The company admitted to entering into a bid-rigging agreement for a General Motors Company tender for “roll-on/roll-off” shipping services, including routes from South Korea to Canada, for contracts covering the period of 2011 to 2012.
The companies received leniency in sentencing for their cooperation with the Competition Bureau’s investigation.
“Our investigation into international shipping conspiracies sends a clear message to the global marketplace: if you do business in Canada, you must comply with the law. Cracking down on criminal collusion is a top priority for the Bureau.”
Commissioner of Competition
- “Roll-on/roll-off” cargo ships are specialized in transporting vehicles, like cars and trucks. The cargo is driven on and off of the ships.
- NYK and “K” Line are headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, and provide global shipping services.
- When the Bureau finds evidence of a criminal offence, it refers the matter to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC). The PPSC then decides whether charges should be laid and has authority over any resulting prosecutions.
- Those who believe they are involved in an illegal agreement with their competitors can come forward and seek immunity from prosecution or lenient treatment in return for their cooperation with the Bureau’s investigation.
The Bureau strongly encourages anyone who suspects that a company is involved in illegal agreements such as bid-rigging, price-fixing, market allocation or supply restrictions, to report it by using our online complaint form.
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