The Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK), of Tokyo, was convicted at an Australian Federal Court of criminal cartel conduct and ordered it to pay a fine of AU$25mn.
This is the second-highest fine imposed in the history of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which said that without the NYK’s cooperation, the fine would have been even bigger.
Following a major investigation by the ACCC, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) charged NYK with giving effect to cartel provisions in an arrangement or understanding with other shipping lines relating to the transportation of motor vehicles to Australia between 2009 and 2012.
The court heard that 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 including Nissan, Suzuki, Honda, Toyota and Mazda.
Justice Wigney stated the fine “incorporated a global discount of 50 per cent for NYK’s early plea of guilty and past and future assistance and cooperation, and but for these, the fine would have been AU$50mn.”