Ship liners’ anti-trust immunity plea rejected

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has once again rejected the plea of ship liners associations seeking anti-trust immunity from the competition watchdog.

Ship liner associations are groups of ship liners who come together to operate cargo services on designated routes, agree on prices and share space on each other's vessels. The prices these ship liners' associations agree upon tend to become the benchmark for other ship liners. Under Section 54 and 55, the government has powers to exempt it from the Competition Act.

This is the second time the CCI has rejected the proposal. Earlier, in 2009, the associations had approached the corporate affairs ministry seeking exemption under the Act. However, given the stiff opposition from the competition watchdog, it was denied. The liners had also made a case with the shipping ministry, which in turn had conducted an impact study on the industry and had sought exemption from the corporate affairs ministry.

"In places like the EU, anti-trust immunity to ship liners have been put to an end," an official told The Indian Express.

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