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Eimskip admits collusion, Samskip still under investigation

Eimskip will pay a €10M fine for colluding with Samskip in 2008.

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Eimskip admits collusion, Samskip still under investigation

The Icelandic Competition Authority (ICA) has announced a settlement with Eimskip in its investigation into collusion between Eimskip and Samskip over the period 2008 to 2013. Eimskip approached the ICA earlier this month to negotiate a settlement, a process that did not include Samskip.

 

A settlement was signed on 16 June which includes “Eimskip admitting to serious violations of competition law, a payment of ISK 1.500.000.000 fine (approximately €10M) in addition to committing to taking actions to prevent possible future violations,” the ICA said.

 

The violations that took place after a meeting between the two carriers on 6 June 2008 were:

  • "Collusion with Samskip in the latter part of 2008 regarding changes in sailing systems and limiting in transportation capacity in maritime shipping to and from Iceland.
  • Collusion with Samskip in allocating larger customers in maritime shipping and land transport markets. This collusion was less in scope in the year 2013.
  • Collusion with Samskip regarding fees and discounts for transportation services and exchanging important information regarding prices and business matters. This collusion was less in scope in the year 2013.
  • Collusion with Samskip in land transport regarding transportation routes in Iceland and dividing the market in connection with certain transportation routes.
  • Collusion with Samskip on maritime shipping between Iceland and other European countries as well as other actions aimed at restricting competition in transportation services.
  • Collusion with Samskip on maritime shipping between Iceland and North America when an exemption from Article 10 of the Icelandic Competition Law was not in force.”

Eimskip also admitted to an earlier “smaller scope” collusion, and other violations relating to not giving necessary or accurate information during the investigation.

 

“It is an important milestone, but at the same time a difficult one, to reach a settlement with the Icelandic Competition Authority regarding the case that has been under investigation and concerns the period 2008 to 2013,” said Vilhelm Már Þorsteinsson, CEO at Eimskip. “Since then, there has been a fundamental change in the Company’s operations, new executive managers are on board, new main owners have joined the Company and governance structure has been improved. A part of these changes and the journey that we are on was to reach a settlement in this case and now the uncertainty surrounding this matter has been removed. Despite the negative financial impact it was the Board of Directors opinion that it would be in the best interest of the Company to settle this old case.”

 

Samskip had earlier denied colluding with Eimskip, a position that now looks difficult to sustain in the face of Eimskip’s admissions and settlement. The ICA said its case against Samskip is still under investigation.

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