March 22, 2004
Justice voids leniency deal with Stolt-Nielsen
Stolt-Nielsen S.A. says that the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice has voided its conditional leniency agreement with the company and revoked Stolt-Nielsen's conditional acceptance into the division's corporate leniency program.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Stolt Nielsen SA CEO Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen said, "The company fundamentally disagrees with the Department of Justice's decision, and SNSA's legal counsel will vigorously challenge it."
The company statement noted that Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group's (SNTG) new management team is "fully focused on continuing to provide its customers with outstanding levels of quality service at competitive rates."
The company was conditionally accepted into the leniency program in February 2003 after voluntarily notifying the DOJ's Antitrust Division and the European Commission Competition Directorate of potential improper collusive behavior in its parcel tanker and intra-European inland barge operations.
The program gave Stolt Nielsen SA's Stolt-Nielsen Transport Group unit, its directors and employees amnesty from U.S. criminal antitrust prosecution as long as the company cooperated with investigators.
The company reached a similar agreement with the European Commission.
On June 24, 2003, Richard B. Wingfield, former Managing Director, Tanker Trading, for Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group Ltd., was charged in a one-count criminal complaint with conspiring to divide markets, fix prices and rig bids for parcel-tanker shipping to and from the United States.