FCA Sues Shipping Companies Over Price Fixing

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FCA has lodged complaint with Federal Maritime Commission seeking compensation from multiple shipping companies that are accused of unlawful price fixing

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has sued several shipping companies from across the world alleging of price fixing. As the automobile company says, it had to pay far more to the shipping companies for exporting vehicles to overseas markets. FCA also complains that the shipping companies made illegal agreements to allocate customers and routes, rig bids and also to fix, stabilise and maintain price.

FCA has lodged complaint with the Federal Maritime Commission in USA seeking compensation from the shipping companies. These accused shipping companies are Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS and its sister company EUKOR Car Carriers Inc, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd, Compania Sud Americana de Vapores, Hoegh Autoliners AS and affiliated companies.

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The Italian-American automobile group wants Federal Maritime Commission to order payments from these companies that are based in Asia, Europe and South America. Among the above mentioned companies Hoegh Autoliners AS admitted the price fixing and it also agreed to plead guilty and pay $21 million fine. US government has been probing the price fixing since 2012 and the investigation that revealed four shipping executives are guilty.

It has been also revealed that back in 1997 the shipping companies made conspiracy to fix the pricing and suppressed competition in cargo shipping. The accused companies also failed to provide the documents of agreements to the Maritime Commission. Not only FCA, but another US based auto giant general Motors too sued the companies. Apart from that, several car and truck dealers also filed lawsuits against the shipping companies.

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As is appears, the automakers and auto dealers had to face huge loss because of the illegal price fixing by these multiple shipping companies spread across the world. As the legal proceedings are going on, the judgement on the cases are expected to come in near future.