The Japanese shipping company Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) was accused for cartel behavior in Australia, where the competition watchdog has launched a criminal investigation. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission started a criminal case and indictment to NYK, but do not reveal any special details. The Japanese shipowner still refuse to comment the lawsuit, which is still in the very beginning and there is no official call for hearing by the authorities. It is not clear, which were the other participants in the cartel, or engaged employees of the company.
If found guilty, the Japanese shipowner NYK will face fine of up to 7.64 million USD, as according to the Australian laws the fine must be 10% of its annual turnover or three times their ill-gotten gains, whichever is larger. However, if some individuals from the management of the company are found guilty, can be jailed up to 10 years.
That is not the first lawsuit against NYK, as in March 2014 Japan’s Fair Trade Commission ordered the shipowner to pay 12.2 million USD on another price fixing misdemanour. Two years later an NYK employee in the US was jailed for 15 months following a car carrier price fixing probe.
Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) is one of the oldest and largest shipping companies in the world. It is a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFJ) keiretsu. The company operates one of the largest fleets in the world, specialized in vehicle and container transportation.