More countries join car carrier probe

car carrierSEPTEMBER 7, 2012 — More countries are investigating suspected anti-competitive behavior by car carrier companies. Yesterday, news broke that the Fair Trade Commission, Japan's anti-trust watchdog, is investigating more than 10 shipping companies on suspicion of forming a cartel to raise the prices of sending cars overseas. (see earlier story). Now, authorities in Canada, the U.S. and Europe are asking questions.

Today, Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding ASA (WWH) said that it has received a request for information from the Competition Bureau Canada.

"In addition," the company said in a stock exchange announcement, "Wilh. Wilhelmsen ASA's (owned 72.7 percent by WWH) partly owned companies Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and EUKOR Car Carriers have been visited by Japanese authorities as part of an investigation related to the Japan Anti Monopoly Act. Further, WWL has received requests for information from the EU Commission and both WWL and EUKOR have received requests for information from federal U.S. authorities and the Competition Bureau Canada. The purpose of these requests is to ascertain whether there is evidence of any infringement of competition law related to possible price cooperation between carriers and allocation of customers.

"There are no further details about the nature of the investigation, but the companies in question fully cooperate with the investigators.

"The fact that such inspections are carried out and that requests for information have been sent out does not mean that the companies have engaged in anti-competitive behavior."

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