China fines major foreign shipping lines $65M on price-fixing charges

BEIJING -- China fined seven foreign shipping companies that carry vehicles for automakers a total of $65 million on price-fixing charges Monday in its latest effort to end anti-competitive behaviour in the auto industry.

See Full Article

Investigators found Europe's Wallenius Wilhelmsen, South Korea's EUKOR, Japan's Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and other shippers improperly co-ordinated bids and routes to keep prices high, the Cabinet's planning agency said. An eighth shipper, Japan's NYK, was found to have colluded but was spared a fine.

Regulators have investigated or penalized automakers, dairies and technology suppliers under China's 2008 anti-monopoly law in an effort to force down prices Chinese consumers complain are too high.

Business groups say the secretive and abrupt way investigations are conducted is alienating foreign companies. Regulators deny foreign companies are treated unfairly.

The latest penalties target "roll-on, roll-off" shippers that move cars, trucks and construction equipment aboard specialized vessels that carry hundreds and sometimes thousands of vehicles.

Representatives of the companies met over a period of more than four years to share information and make deals to avoid competition, the National Development and Reform Commission said. It said the collusion covered routes linking China with Europe, North America and Latin America, and involved multiple auto brands.

The biggest penalty of 284 million yuan ($45 million) was imposed on EUKOR Car Carriers Inc., according to the National Development and Reform Commission. Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, a Swedish-Norwegian company, was fined 45 million yuan ($7.1 million).

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd. was fined 38 million yuan ($6 million). Other companies penalized were Japan's K Line and Eastern Car Liner Ltd. and Chile's CSAV and CCNI.

NYK was found to have colluded but was spared a fine, the NDRC said. The company said in a separate statement that was because it co-operated with investigators.

Previously, Chinese regulators fined global auto brands and parts suppliers for enforcing minimum sticker prices and using control over supplies of spares to charge excessively high prices.

In the biggest anti-monopoly penalty to date, the U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. was fined 6 billion yuan ($975 million) in February on charges it abused its dominance in wireless technology to charge "unfairly high" licensing fees.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Wind company owed $28M by federal government asks court to force payment

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- A wind power company is going to court to try to get $28 million it is owed by the federal government over an Ontario offshore wind moratorium. Windstream Energy had a 300-megawatt project planned for an offshore wind project in eastern Ontario when the provincial government abruptly enacted the moratorium in February 2011. Source
  • Asian stocks drift higher as investors await Fed minutes

    Economic CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- Asian stock markets were mixed with subdued movements on Wednesday, getting little push from Wall Street's record high overnight, as investors awaited the Fed's latest meeting minutes due later in the day for clues about the U.S. Source
  • Global markets mostly higher as investors await Fed minutes

    Economic CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- Global stock markets were mostly higher in subdued trading on Wednesday as investors awaited the Fed's latest meeting minutes, hoping for clues to the U.S. central bank's views on interest rates. Source
  • U.S. shutting down Dakota Access oil pipeline protest camp

    Economic CTV News
    BISMARCK, N.D. -- The Army Corps of Engineers' plan to close a Dakota Access pipeline protest camp that's been around for more than six months isn't likely to be the demise of on-the-ground opposition in North Dakota. Source
  • CRA's new fingerprinting policy could create travel problems for accused tax evaders

    Economic CBC News
    The Canada Revenue Agency has begun to record the fingerprints of every person charged with tax evasion, a move that could severely restrict foreign travel for anyone accused but not necessarily convicted of a criminal tax offence. Source
  • Alberta Energy Regulator names companies falling behind on pipeline safety

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY - The Alberta Energy Regulator is making it easier for the public to see which oil and gas companies are falling behind on pipeline safety. The regulator launched a new pipeline reporting website Tuesday that lays out several pipeline safety ratings for all operators in the province over the past two years. Source
  • Wal-Mart keeps working to make inroads against Amazon

    Economic CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The nation's largest retailer keeps working to make headway against the largest online seller. Wal-Mart drew more shoppers to its namesake stores in the United States and its online sales soared 29 per cent in the fourth quarter, which covers the critical holiday shopping season. Source
  • Verizon forces Yahoo to cut sale price over hacking scandal

    Economic Toronto Sun
    SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo is taking a $350 million hit on its previously announced $4.8 billion sale to Verizon in a concession for security lapses that exposed personal information stored in more than 1 billion Yahoo user accounts. Source
  • Seven-year-old girl's job application to Google catches CEO's eye

    Economic CTV News
    For seven-year-old Chloe Bridgewater, it’s never too early to get started on building your career. The girl from Hereford, U.K. penned a job application to Google CEO Sundar Pichai after seeing images of Google offices outfitted with bean bag chairs, go karts and slides. Source
  • French leftist lawmakers take EU-Canada free trade deal to court

    Economic CBC News
    More than 100 French left-wing lawmakers decided on Tuesday to appeal to the country's Constitutional Council to block a contentious free trade deal between the European Union and Canada. Supporters of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) say it will boost economic growth and jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. Source