Int'l freight firms fined for price-fixing in New Zealand market (2)

08:11, June 15, 2011      

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In his judgment, the judge said the surcharge agreements were " part of a sustained course of conduct involving covert meetings and communications."

He also said the conduct occurred in "a market of fundamental importance to New Zealand."

Commerce Commission general manager of enforcement Kate Morrison welcomed the penalties.

"We are confident the industry has been sent a very strong message that collusion to fix prices is unacceptable," said Morrison.

"Being so far from our world markets, competitive pricing by the freight forwarding industry is extremely important to the competitiveness of New Zealand industries," she said.

"We acknowledge the cooperation of BAX and Schenker, who took a responsible approach to our investigation from an early stage. The commission aims to work with parties who are prepared to admit liability and co-operate in order to achieve a suitable settlement and penalty without the need for lengthy, costly court proceedings. "

The NES surcharge related to security measures at airports for exports from the UK and had the effect of controling and maintaining prices for the supply of freight forwarding services from the UK to New Zealand.

The commission's freight forwarding cartel case is continuing against Kuehne and Nagel. A hearing to determine jurisdiction has been set for August.
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