Japanese firm fined $67.7M in shipping conspiracy

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

A Japanese company is paying a $67.7 million criminal fine to the United States for conspiring to fix prices for international ocean shipping services at the Port of Baltimore and other locations.

The Justice Department said Friday that Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (KAH'-wah-SAH'-kee kee-SEN' KYE'-shah) Ltd., also known as "K'' Line, pleaded guilty to one count.

The government says the company conspired to suppress and eliminate competition by allocating customers and routes, rigging bids and fixing prices for international shipments of cars, trucks and heavy equipment.

Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer says the conspiracy ran from at least 1997 to 2012.

He says it affected the shipping cost of large numbers of cars into and out of the Port of Baltimore and other ports around the world.