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SeaIntel: EU faces difficult case against container carriers

Is it proof or merely solid documentation of price fixing when container carriers tend to announce rate increases simultaneously? No, says SeaIntel, which believes that the EU has embarked on a difficult mission.

Photo: Wärtsila

When the EU Commission on Friday formally launched proceedings against the container carriers that had been suspected of price fixing since May 2011, the Commission also made itself vulnerable to a potential defeat.

Because if you ask SeaIntel partner and former Maersk employee Lars Jensen, there is a considerable risk that the case will end up snubbing the Commission, as it could turn out to be more than difficult to prove that the shipowners have arranged to raise their prices in unison. Unless there is a smoking gun, of course, meaning a document containing a specific agreement in which carriers have arranged to announce their general rate increases (GRI) in fixed turn.

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