Japanese Car Carriers Reveal Financial Impact of EC Fine

The Japanese car carrier trio comprising K’ Line, NYK and MOL issued separate statements on the Europen Commission’s decision from Wednesday to fine four deep-sea car carriers for cartel practices and violation of EU competition law.

Aside to the Japanese companies, the Norwegian/Swedish carrier WWL-EUKOR and Chilean maritime carrier CSAV were also found guilty of the infringement.

The companies were fined with a total of EUR 395 million (USD 486.6 million).

Commenting on the ruling, K’ Line said that the decision would result in an extraordinary loss of EUR 39.1 million (JPY 5.15 billion) in the fiscal year ending March 2018.

On the other hand, NYK, which was fined EUR 141.82 million (JPY 18.8 billion), explained that it had already recognized JPY 19.6 billion as provision for the fines in its nine-month report ending December 31, 2017.

Hence, the company doesn’t expect to be impacted by the fine when it announces results for the fiscal year ending March 2018.

Finally, Mitsui O.S.K Lines (MOL), which was also found guilty of the violation, has managed to dodge a fine of EUR 203 million in exchange for information about the cartel during the investigation.

“Though the EC announced that they found the violation of European competition law and imposed fines, MOL and its subsidiary companies were exempted from all penalty including the fine because EC granted MOL an immunity,” the company said.

The trio added that they would work on regaining public confidence and work on preventing such behaviors in the future.

Separately, WWL-Eukor which was hit with the highest fine worth EUR 207 million said yesterday that it had made a provision for the outcome of the investigation, adding that the fine would not have a profit and loss effect.

“Whilst I deeply regret the outcome, we are pleased that the EC investigation has concluded. WWL group are committed to honest and fair business practices; this is an unfortunate part of our past and we must ensure it cannot occur again,” WWL’s CEO, Craig Jasienski, said.

The decision is related to an investigation launched back in September 2012, when EU Commission officials raided the premises of several providers of maritime transport services for cars and construction and agricultural rolling machinery.

The investigation has found that for almost 6 years, from October 2006 to September 2012, the five carriers formed a cartel in the market for deep sea transport of new cars, trucks and other large vehicles on various routes between Europe and other continents.

World Maritime News Staff