shipping major Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) pleaded guilty to criminal cartel
conduct in Australia’s Federal Court on April 5, Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said.
plea follows an investigation by the ACCC and charges laid by the Commonwealth Director of
Public Prosecutions in relation to cartel conduct concerning the international
shipping of cars, trucks, and buses to Australia between July 2009 and
informed that the matter will now proceed to sentencing and is next scheduled
for a sentencing hearing in the Federal Court on November 15 and 16, 2018.
This is the
second guilty plea in Australia in relation to this cartel. In July 2016, K
Line’s compatriot Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) pleaded guilty to criminal cartel conduct.
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.
2017, NYK was convicted and fined AUD 25 million
(around USD 19.2 million), the second-highest imposed in ACCC’s history.
Commission earlier informed that the maximum fine for each criminal cartel
offence would be the greater of AUD 10 million; three times the total benefits
that have been obtained and are reasonably attributable to the commission of
the offence; or, if the total of the benefits cannot be determined, ten percent
of the corporation’s annual turnover connected with Australia.
investigation into other alleged cartel participants is continuing.