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K Line exec jailed for price fixing in the US

K Line exec jailed for price fixing in the US
An employee of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has been jailed for 18 months in the US for price fixing in the car carrier business.

Hiroshige Tanioka plead guilty to a charge that he was involved in a conspiracy between 1998 and 2002 to allocate customers and routes, rig bids and fix prices for the sale of international ocean shipments of roll-on, roll-off cargo to and from the US and elsewhere, including the Port of Baltimore.

The US Department of Justice said Tanioka would serve 18 months in prison, pay a $20,000 fine and help with its ongoing investigations.

"For more than a decade this conspiracy has raised the cost of importing cars and trucks into the United States,” said Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  “Today’s sentencing is a first step in our continuing efforts to ensure that the executives responsible for this misconduct are held accountable.”

It is the first time an individual has been sentenced in the investigations, November 2014 K Line was ordered to pay a fine of $67.7m.

The maximum penalty that could have been imposed on Tanioka would have been a 10 year jail sentence and a $1m fine.