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US FMC, DoJ ink MoU to back antitrust issues

The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division have signed an interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to increase cooperation and communication to support the liner shipping industry.

As disclosed, the “first-ever MoU” between the two agencies was signed on 12 July 2021, following the new executive order by the Biden administration tackling the consolidation in the container shipping industry.

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According to the parties, the MoU establishes a framework for the FMC and the Antitrust Division to continue regular discussions and review law enforcement and regulatory matters affecting competition in the shipping industry. 

Furthermore, the agreement will provide information and expertise exchanges between the agencies that may be relevant and useful in meeting their oversight and enforcement responsibilities. 

Such exchanges would be conducted in a manner appropriate and consistent with applicable legal and confidentiality restrictions, as informed by the agencies.

“This memorandum between the Commission and the Department of Justice supplements and strengthens the FMC’s ability to detect, address, and pursue violations of the law or anticompetitive behavior by those we regulate,” FMC Chairman Daniel Maffei commented.

“Collaboration between the Antitrust Division and the FMC is important to ensuring healthy competition in the maritime industry,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Powers.

“Our partnership with the FMC is one of the many ways in which the Antitrust Division is prepared to play its role in achieving the competition objectives of the President’s Competition Executive Order.”