SINGAPORE - A cartel of freight forwarders plying shipments from Japan to Singapore have been fined over $7 million for price fixing.
The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) said in a statement that 11 companies were fixing prices and exchanging price and customer information concerning air freight forwarding services for the Japan-Singapore route.
DHL was the only freight forwarder to escape being penalised as it qualified for full immunity under CCS's leniency programme. The programme offers either immunity from or a reduction in financial penalties in exchange for full disclosure of the cartel and cooperation during CCS' investigation.
Two freight forwarders were fined over $1 million: Nippon Express incurred a financial penalty of $2,072,386, while Yusen was fined $2,035,995.
Mr Toh Han Li, Chief Executive, CCS, said "Price fixing among competitors (thus forming a cartel) is considered one of the most harmful types of anti-competitive conduct.
"It distorts the terms of trade between the cartelists and their customers, with the latter not being able to enjoy competitively determined rates," Mr Toh added.
"As an open economy, Singapore businesses are vulnerable to such international cartels."