The European Antitrust Rules do strike again: Maritime cartels were intercepted and fined.
From October 2006 until September 2012, there has been a cartel of five maritime carriers, m.s. CSAV, K Line, MOL, NYK and WWL-EUKOR, regulating the transport of new cars, trucks, large vehicles and tractors on certain routes between Europe and other continents.
The European Commission was alarmed after noticing that the Sales Managers of the involved car carriers were on a regular basis in touch with each other. After an investigation, the European Commission concluded that the car carriers showed an anticompetitive behavior, totally in conflict with the European Antitrust Rules, which has the purpose to protect the market and the customers. The car carriers had made agreements about the entrance of the market, and made promises to respect each other’s
business goals. Such agreements, are made very consciously, to avoid every kind of competition and to be sure of a steady, foreseeable and stable market, without too much surprises.
However, that kind of consolation does not assure instant happiness. The European Commission was in the strong belief that the cartel effected the European car importers, final customers and European vehicle manufacturers in such a way that a severe punishment for the collaborators seemed to be the only right thing to do. For that reason the European Commission fined the maritime car carriers who collaborated in the cartel, with a total fine of €546 million.