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CCS Fines 10 Freight Forwarders for Price Fixing

2014, Singapore, Anticompetitive Agreeement

An Infringement Decision was issued against 11 freight forwarders and their Singapore subsidiaries for contravention of section 34 of the Competition Act. Collectively, the companies fixed certain fees and surcharges, and exchanged price and customer information, in the provision of air freight forwarding services for shipments from Japan to Singapore. Both the Japanese and related Singapore companies acted as a single economic entity, and were found to be jointly and severally liable. Financial penalties were imposed on 10 of the 11 companies and were calculated based on each party’s turnover affected by the anti-competitive conduct. The one company that escaped penalty qualified for full immunity under CCS’s leniency programme.

This was CCS’s second international cartel case involving foreign-registered companies and their Singapore subsidiaries or affiliates. The financial penalties amount to S$7,150,852.

Mr. Toh Han Li, Chief Executive, CCS, said:

“Price fixing among competitors (thus forming a cartel) is considered one of the most harmful types of anti-competitive conduct. It distorts the terms of trade between the cartelists and their customers, with the latter not being able to enjoy competitively determined rates. As an open economy, Singapore businesses are vulnerable to such international cartels.”