South Africa raids major shipping companies


In South Africa, local operations of Copenhagen-based Maersk and its Safmarine unit, Hamburg Sued Group, the Mediterranean Shipping Co., Pacific International Lines Pte Ltd. and CMA CGM SA in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, are all being raided by the antitrust regulator, it said in an e-mailed statement, on Wednesday, 28 September.

According to Bloomberg, the investigation was triggered by a tip-off from a member of the public, the Pretoria-based commission said.

“South Africa is a strategic hub for the trade of goods in and out of the southern African region,” Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele said in the statement. “Any cartel by shipping liners in this region results in inflated prices for cargo transportation.”

The commission will seize documents and electronic data, which will be analysed, together with other information, to determine whether the companies contravened the Competition Act, it said.

“We are cooperating fully,” Maersk said in e-mailed comments. “Such inspections do not mean that a company has engaged in anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation.”

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