The Federal Court of Australia has instructed the Japanese significant shipping company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K Line) to pay an AUD34.5 million (USD23.5 million) fine.
The court found that between 2009 and 2012, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) found K Line to engage in a cartel with other shipping firms to solve rates on transportation of vehicles, trucks and buses to Australia.
The AUD 34.5 million fine in K Line is reported to be the biggest ever criminal penalty enforced in this nation under the Competition and Consumer Act.
Following a wide-scale crime examination by the ACCC and charges by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP), K Line pleaded guilty in April 2018.
The cartel operated from the United States, Asia and different European nations on at least February 1997, and affected transport rates for vehicles, trucks and buses to Australia. On behalf of vehicle makers such as Nissan, Suzuki, Honda, Toyota and Isuzu, K Line and other transport lines carried these cars.
In the 12 months prior to the onset of the offense, 10% of K Line’s annual turnover on the Australian business activities had been punishable by a maximum penalty of AUD 100 million.
The Court also permitted the early culpable plea and aid of K Line and collaboration for a 28 percent discount. These elements were seen by the court as signs of contrition. In particular, the firm would have been fined AUD 48 million without K Line’s early culpable plea and collaboration.