P&O faces pounds 25m fine from EU
Sunday 13 September 1998
EU Competition Commissioner Karel Van Miert will announce the decision on Wednesday, after a meeting of senior officials the day before recommends penalties for each member of the 15-strong Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement (TACA). The fines could be up to 10% of each company's turnover, which in P&O's case would amount to pounds 500m - but pounds 25m is considered the likely maximum.
"The charges are very serious indeed. The fines will be substantial," said a spokesman for the European Commission. He said the fines will relate only to "the behaviour of the companies from 1994 to 1998".
The move will send shock waves through the world's shipping industry, which has long relied on informal arrangements between shipping lines to keep cargo rates stable.
The TACA members are expected to immediately appeal the decision at the European Court of Justice on the grounds the offending arrangements were notified to the Commission under the proper procedures and were therefore exempt from EU competition rules. "Price-fixing is one of the cardinal sins of EU competition rules. Van Miert believes shippers and carriers can cope with competition and don't need to resort to such measures," said a Brussels source.
TACA members claim that price-fixing conferences are an accepted part of the worldwide shipping industry and are even tolerated in Washington.
It is will be the second time P&O has fallen foul of EU competition rules. In 1996, it was one of five ferry companies fined a total of pounds 508,000 by Brussels for illegally levying a surcharge on freight customers in 1992 to offset the effects of a devaluation in sterling.
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 2 Jack the Ripper: Scientist who claims to have identified notorious killer has 'made serious DNA error'
- 3 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Lynda Bellingham dead: Loose Women presenter dies after battle with colon cancer
Banksy arrest hoax: Internet duped by fake report claiming that the street artist's identity has been revealed
'Russian submarine spotted' by Swedish military off coast of Stockholm
Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
Hurricane Gonzalo: When will it hit the UK and how strong will it be?
Oscar Pistorius sentence: Athlete's wealth and notoriety provoke an overdue debate on South African prisons
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Sorry Judy Finnigan – Ched Evans is no less sickening than an alleyway rapist
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Workers 'could be forced to pay £5 a week' to get benefits
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
iJobs Money & Business
£18 - 23k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Customer Service Executiv...
£60 - 65k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a ASP.NET Web Developer / ....
£60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...
£27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...