India fined several major Japanese car carrier companies, finding them guilty for violations of India’s Competition Act, which prohibits anti-competitive agreements including cartels.
amely, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) fined a total of about $8.5 million, while also holding libel executives of the companies for the anti-competitive conduct and passing a cease-and-desist order against the illegal cartel.
The CCI entered its final order against NYK Line, K-Line, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, and Nissan Motor Car Carrier Company for having created and operated a cartel affecting the maritime motor vehicle transport services operated on multiple trade routes for original equipment manufacturers.
More specifically, the investigation found that NYK Line, K-Line, MOL, and NMCC between 2009 and 2012 had operated under a “Respect Rule,” which the regulators noted it implied avoiding competition with each other and protecting the business of incumbent carrier with the respective OEM.
The commission also said that the four operators of car carrier services “resorted to multi-lateral as well as bilateral contacts, meetings, e-mails with each other to share commercially sensitive information.”
In addition, the CCI also held employees at each of the companies liable for the anti-competitive conduct. A total of 14 at NYK Line, 10 at K-Line, six at MOL, and three at Nissan were found liable for the actions of their respective companies.
Each of the companies have now filed applications with the CCI seeking lesser penalties. The largest fine was imposed against Nissan Motor Car Carrier Company and its employees totaling approximately $3.84 million.
The fine imposed against K-Line and its employees is approximately $3.24 million, while MOL and its employees were fined approximately $1.35 million. Upon review, the CCI decided to reduce by 100% the fine against NYK and its employees.
The companies were also ordered to stop any cartel actions and not peruse agreements in the future.