Maersk Line and the Russian antimonopoly authority reaches agreement on competition case
Maersk Line and the Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service have agreed to settle a competition case regarding Maersk Line and other shipping lines’ use of price announcements to the Russian market, the company said in its press release.
Maersk Line and the Federal Antimonopoly Service of the Russian Federation (FAS) agreed to settle a competition case regarding Maersk Line and other shipping lines’ use of price announcements to the Russian market.
The agreement is subject to payment of a settlement fee of approximately USD 230,000 by Maersk Line. As part of the settlement agreement, the previous FAS decision on a fine of approximately USD 12 million will be terminated.
In the case FAS found no evidence of cartel behavior, but under a unique provision in Russian Competition Law, FAS had initially concluded that Maersk Line and the other shipping lines’ use of price announcements constituted a non-cartel concerted action.
The case opened in 2013 and concerned behavior which is legal in other jurisdictions. This behavior was previously investigated by the EU and not deemed an infringement of EU Competition Law.
“The case concerned a unique Russian provision that does not exist in other countries. This agreement shows the commitment of both parties to find a solution that creates clarity for the future. We look forward to continuing our engagements in Russia”, says Camilla Jain Holtse, Head of Competition Law at Maersk Line. “We appreciate the constructive and professional dialogue we have had with FAS on the matter. We are committed to comply with all applicable laws and regulations and we work hard to ensure compliance”.
In the proposed agreement, Maersk Line commits to cease public price announcements for cargo to Russian ports. Instead, customers will receive price information for Russia specific corridors via email or a password protected webpage.
Further, Maersk Line has offered and will sign up to voluntary industry guidelines for price announcements. While reflecting the commitments offered to FAS, the guidelines are also aligned with the principles Maersk Line voluntarily adopted when the EU Commission in July 2016 closed its competition case, finding no infringement of EU competition law in 14 shipping lines’ use of price announcements.
“We welcome FAS’ decision to opt for international regulatory standards. FAS has recognised the global nature of liner shipping and the compelling need for a coherent regulatory approach. This is a very positive international precedent as it supports our global industry to apply an aligned global regulatory approach”, said Camilla Jain Holtse.