Cartel: K-Line Pleads Guilty in Australia
Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line) has entered a guilty plea in the Australian Federal Court to criminal cartel conduct. The company is scheduled to be sentenced in November this year.
K-Line’s plea follows an investigation by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) in relation to cartel conduct concerning the international shipping of cars, trucks and buses to Australia.
The charges against K-Line relate to shipping activity between 2009 and 2012, although the cartel operated from at least February 1997 and affected vehicles transported to Australia from locations in Asia, the U.S. and Europe on behalf of major car manufacturers including Nissan, Suzuki, Honda, Toyota and Mazda.
This is the second guilty plea in Australia in relation to the cartel with Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) pleading guilty in July 2016. The company was convicted in August 2017 and fined A$25 million ($19.8 million).
In 2014, K-Line agreed to plead guilty and pay a $67.7 million criminal fine in the U.S. for its involvement in a conspiracy to fix prices, allocate customers and rig bids.
The ACCC’s investigation into other alleged cartel participants is continuing.