The Japan Fair Trade Commission said Tuesday that surcharge payment orders against four car carrier companies totaled about
The JFTC issued cease-and-desist orders and surcharge payment orders against NYK, "K" Line, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Nissan Motor Car Carrier Co. after finding that they violated a section of Japan's Antimonopoly Act that prohibits unreasonable restraint of trade.
To prevent freight rates from falling on various ocean routes, the companies "agreed to mutually refrain from contending for customers by not offering lower freight rates and to raise or maintain freight rates, and thereby, contrary to the public interest, substantially restrained competition in the fields of particular international ocean shipping services."
The routes involved went from Japan to North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia/New Zealand.
JFTC said it found that freight rates were decided through bilateral negotiation between consignors and the shipping companies and "hence the tariffs (freight rate tables which are uniformly applied to all consignors) stipulated in the exempted cartels were rarely or never applied to the actual transactions."
JFTC also made a request to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism "to take necessary measures swiftly on exempted cartels related to the international ocean shipping services, including abolishing the existing exempted cartels for the North American route, the Middle and Near Eastern route and the Oceania route."
More details can be found on the JFTC website