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US fines Japanese shipper NYK for price fixing

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The US justice authorities fined Japanese shipper NYK US$59.4 million on Monday for conspiring with other companies to fix the prices of transporting cars to and from the United States.

[WASHINGTON] The US justice authorities fined Japanese shipper NYK US$59.4 million on Monday for conspiring with other companies to fix the prices of transporting cars to and from the United States.

"NYK conspired to suppress and eliminate competition by allocating customers and routes, rigging bids and fixing prices for the sale of international ocean shipments of roll-on, roll-off cargo to and from the United States and elsewhere," the Department of Justice said.

NYK, or Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, agreed to plead guilty to a one-count felony criminal charge in the scheme, which spanned the period of 1997-2012, and pay the fine.

The Justice Department said two other unnamed companies have already pleaded guilty to similar charges.

"This is another step in the effort to restore competition in the ocean shipping industry to the benefit of US consumers," said Bill Baer, assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust division at the department.

"We are not done. Our investigation is ongoing," he added.

AFP