Less than a week after referring Japanese company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K-Line) to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution for collusive tendering, price fixing and market division, the Competition Commission has added ten more charges.
The commission is also seeking administrative penalties of 10% of the company’s yearly turnover for each of the additional ten charges.
The firm is one of four companies investigated by the commission for its involvement in a cartel transporting Toyota vehicles by sea to and from South Africa between 2002 and 2013.
K-Line had been investigated and subsequently referred to the tribunal by the commission for its involvement in the cartel that transported vehicles for Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM), which had issued tenders for the shipments.
The latest charges against the Japanese firm include collusive activities around 2011 involving a tender issued by Toyota Motors Asia Pacific to transport Toyota vehicles from India to South Africa by sea; collusive activities around 2002 regarding tenders issued by Toyota Motor Corporation and Ford Motor Company to transport Toyota and Ford cars from Japan to West Africa and from South Africa to West Africa by sea; and collusive activities around 2008 relating to a tender issued by BMW for the transportation of BMW cars from South Africa to North America by sea.
In addition, charges relating to collusive activities around 2008 in respect of tenders issued by Daimler to transport Mercedes-Benz motor vehicles from South Africa to North America by sea; and collusive activities during or about 2010 in respect of tenders issued by Honda to transport Honda cars from Thailand to South Africa by sea, were also put to the tribunal.
Other charges comprised prohibited practices around 2010 relating to a tender issued by Mitsubishi Motor Company to transport Mitsubishi cars from Japan and Thailand to South Africa; prohibited practices in relation to a tender issued by Nissan to transport cars from India to South Africa by sea; prohibited practices around 2009 in respect of a global tender issued by Nissan Motor Corporation through its purchasing company, Renault-Nissan Purchasing Organisation, for the shipment of Nissan cars from South Africa to Europe by sea; prohibited practices around 2006 involving a tender issued by Suzuki through its trading arm Sojitz Logistics for the transportation of Suzuki cars from Japan to South Africa by sea; and prohibited practices in respect of a tender issued by Maruti Suzuki for the transportation of Suzuki motor vehicles from India to Africa, including South Africa, by sea, during the period from 2011 to 2013.
In 2015 and 2016, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics and Eukor Car Carriers admitted to colluding on these tenders, settled with the Commission and agreed to cooperate with the Commission in prosecuting K-Line.
“To date, the three companies have paid a total of more than R215-million in administrative penalties in this matter,” the commission pointed out.
Japanese firm Mitsui OSK Lines was not fined as it was the first to approach the commission and cooperated in the investigation.