NYK Admits to Foul Play in South Africa

Japanese shipping liner Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha Ltd. (NYK) agreed to pay a ZAR 104 million (USD 8.5m) fine after admitting liability for several instances of price fixing, market allocation and collusive bidding for tenders to transport motor vehicles to and from South Africa, the Competition Commission of South Africa announced in a statement.

The Commission found that NYK colluded on 14 tenders with its competitors for the transportation of motor vehicles by sea issued by several automotive manufacturers to and from South Africa, including BMW, Toyota Motor Corporation, Nissan, and Honda among others.

This settlement followed the Commission’s investigation of collusive conduct against shipping liners, namely: Mitsui O.S.K Lines; Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd; Compania Sud Americana de Vapores; Hoegh Autoliners Holdings AS; Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics; Eukor Car Carriers; and NYK that they allegedly fixed prices, divided markets and tendered collusively in respect of the provision of deep sea transportation services.

The Commission’s investigation is continuing against the rest of the respondents.

Back in December 2014, NYK was fined USD 59.4 million by the Maryland District Court, USA, for conspiring to agree on prices, allocating customers, refraining from bidding against its co-conspirators, and exchanging customer pricing information.

Susumu Tanaka, who acted as a manager, deputy general manager and general manager in NYK’s car carrier division at the time, pleaded guilty to involvement in the conspiracy to fix prices, and was sentenced to 15 months in prison in March 2015.