The European Commission’s (EC) suspicions of anti-competitive behaviour by liner shipping companies have moved on. Two years ago they centred on direct “price fixing” via secret collusion between competing lines, but this week’s EC announcement says they now relate to the indirect practice of “price signalling” via advance notification of price increases on websites and through interviews in the trade press, thereby allowing competitors to follow suit.
Maersk Line, MSC and CMA CGM, the three lines hoping to form the groundbreaking P3 alliance, are all under investigation and subject to legal proceedings for price fixing by the European Commission (EC).
Maersk Line says it has been informed it is part of the European Commission’s (EC) formal antitrust investigations but does not believe it contravened European competition laws.
Antitrust investigations into several container lines have intensified as the European Commission (EC) announced formal proceedings against undisclosed companies.