Mexico Fines NYK, MOL $32m Over Cartel

Mexico’s competition authority has fined seven shipping companies US$32 million for colluding to raise prices in the regional vehicle and equipment transport market.
Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE) is the antitrust commission tasked with safeguarding market access in Mexico.
It found seven shipping companies acted as an international cartel on maritime transport routes that involve Mexican ports to reduce competitive pressure.
In nine collusive agreements, they split Mexico’s transport of motor vehicles, construction vechiles and farming equipment among themselves, COFECE in a release said.
This allowed them to increase the costs of the services provided to companies in the automotive industry.
They were shipping motor vehicles for manufacturers on various routes for which Mexico was point of origin or destination, including from or to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia and Belgium.
Agreements were entered into between 2009 and 2012, and in some cases extended into 2015.
The seven companies included several Japanese companies as well as Norwegian Wallenius Wilhlmsen Logistics (WWL) and Chilean shipping company Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores.
Japanese and Japanese-owned group companies included Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, K Line America, Mitsui OSK Lines, Mitsui OSK Bulk Shipping, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha.
Ships operating in the cartel loaded and unloaded vehicles at the ports of Altamira, Veracruz, Manzanillo, Mazatlán and Lázaro Cárdenas.
Mexico’s automotive industry is one of the most important investment and growth sectors in the Mexican economy, COFECE said.

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