Norwegian car shipping company Hoegh Autoliners has been referred to the Competition Tribunal for prosecution on seven charges relating to alleged collusive tendering, price fixing and market division.
The charges stem from a probe into alleged widespread anticompetitive conduct in the market for the provision of the transportation of motor vehicles, equipment and machinery by sea to and from South Africa.
Hoegh stands accused of colluding with a Japanese car shipping company, Mitsui OSK Lines MOL. It is alleged that, from around 2009, MOL and Hoegh engaged in prohibited practices in that they agreed and/or engaged in concerted practices as competitors to fix prices, divide markets and tender collusively.
MOL previously approached the Competition Commission in terms of its Corporate Leniency Policy and was subsequently granted leniency for its involvement in the alleged cartel conduct in exchange for information and full cooperation in the matter.
In referring the matter against Hoegh to the tribunal for adjudication, the commission is seeking an order declaring that the company is liable for the payment of an administrative penalty equal to 10% of its annual turnover on each of the charges.