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nyk roroWASHINGTON, DC: Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line) has been fined US$59.4 million for price-fixing RORO services to and from the United States.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) says NYK conspired to suppress and eliminate competition by allocating customers and routes, rigging bids and fixing prices for RORO ocean shipments between February 1997 and September 2012.

NYK is the third company to agree to plead guilty in this investigation, bringing the total fines to over US$135 million.

"This is another step in the effort to restore competition in the ocean shipping industry to the benefit of U.S. consumers," said Bill Baer, head of the DoJ's Antitrust Division. "We are not done. Our investigation is ongoing," he added.

In February last year Compañía Sud Americana de Vapores S.A. (CSAV), a Chilean corporation, was fined US$8.9 million for price-fixing similar services.

This was followed in September with the prosecution of Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K-Line) that agreed to plead guilty and pay a US$67.7 million criminal fine for its involvement in the conspiracy that has cost the three shipping lines a total of US$135 million.

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