This is the second guilty plea in Australia in relation to this cartel. On 18 July 2016, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) pleaded guilty and, on 3 August 2017, NYK was convicted and fined $25 million.

The cartel operated from at least February 1997 and affected vehicles transported to Australia by NYK and other shipping lines from locations in Asia, the US and Europe on behalf of major car manufacturers.

ACCC has earlier informed that the maximum fine for each criminal cartel offence will be the greater of:

  • $10 million;
  • three times the total benefits that have been obtained and are reasonably attributable to the commission of the offence;
  • 10% of the corporation’s annual turnover connected with Australia, if the total value of the benefits cannot be determined.

The matter will now proceed to sentencing and is next scheduled for a sentencing hearing in the Federal Court on 15-16 November 2018.

The ACCC’s investigation into other alleged cartel participants is continuing.