The Korea Herald

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Regulator set to take actions against shippers over alleged price fixing

By Yonhap

Published : May 10, 2021 - 09:19

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This photo, provided by Yonhap News TV, shows the exterior of the Korea Fair Trade Commission in the central administrative city of Sejong. (Yonhap) This photo, provided by Yonhap News TV, shows the exterior of the Korea Fair Trade Commission in the central administrative city of Sejong. (Yonhap)
South Korea's antitrust regulator is reviewing punitive actions against the country's leading shipper, HMM Co., and other local shipping lines over suspected price fixing, industry sources said Monday.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) informed them that it has completed its probe into allegations that HMM and others colluded to fix higher freight rates for a Southeast Asian sea route, according to the sources.

Since December 2018, the KFTC has been investigating the suspected price fixing by HMM and its smaller rivals, including Heung-A Shipping Co. and Sinokor Merchant Marine Co.

The regulator is also looking into allegations that local shippers colluded to fix freight rates for other sea routes.

Local shippers claimed they are allowed to take collective actions on freight rates and other contract conditions for transport under the country's maritime shipping act.

But the KFTC believes their move cannot be viewed as a justifiable act as they failed to meet certain criteria that are permissible under the law.

The regulator is set to decide on the level of punitive actions against local shippers after they submit their opinions on the case. (Yonhap)