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  January 21st, 2016 | Written by

Auto Carriers Accused of Bid Rigging and Price Fixing Before Federal Maritime Commission

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  • FMC complaint alleges car carriers conspired to rig bids and to fix prices.
  • Complainants want FMC to investigate bid rigging charges, order carriers to cease and desist, and award damages.
  • A final decision on car carrier price fixing complaint will be issued by FMC by July 20, 2017.

The Federal Maritime Commission has received a Class Action Complaint filed by Cargo Agents, Inc., International Transport Management, Corp., and RCL Agencies, Inc. against some of the world’s top vehicle transport services providers.

The complaint filers are purchasers of vehicle carrier services and allege that the some of the largest providers of deep-sea vehicle transport, names in the complaint, violated provisions of the Shipping Act of 1984, by conspiring “to allocate customers and markets, to rig bids, to restrict supply, and otherwise to raise, fix, stabilize, or maintain prices for vehicle carrier services for shipment to and from the United States, pursuant to agreements between and among them that were not filed with the Federal Maritime Commission.”

The carriers charged in the conspiracy are NYK, MOL, World Logistics Service (U.S.A.), Inc., ‘‘K’’ Line, Eukor Car Carriers Inc., Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, CSAV, Hoegh Autoliners, Autotrans, and Nissan Motor Car Carrier Co., and other related entities.

The complaining parties request that the FMC investigate and hold hearings on the charges, that the FMC find that the carriers have violated the Shipping Act and commission regulations, that the commission order the carriers to cease and desist from price fixing and bid rigging, and that the complaining companies be awarded damages.

The proceeding has been assigned to the Office of Administrative Law Judges. The FMC has announced that an initial decision of the presiding officer will be issued by January 6, 2017 and that a final decision will be issued by July 20, 2017.