Cartels - Collaboration between Bundeskartellamt and ACM leads to settlements in towage sector
On 18 December 2017 the Bundeskartellamt, the German competition authority, announced it had reached settlements with three undertakings and their executives in connection with their involvement in a cartel in the harbor towage sector.
A settlement with a fourth undertaking was announced on 26 February 2018, resulting in a total settlement amount of approximately €17.5 million. These settlements have been the result of investigations that the ACM and the Bundeskartellamt launched in November 2014 into harbour towage service providers in the Netherlands and Germany. The investigations revealed that German and Dutch harbour towage service providers had concluded cartel agreements, and more specifically market-sharing agreements for several German ports, since 2000/2001. In its press release ACM highlights that ACM and the Bundeskartellamt took advantage of the opportunities that European competition authorities have for exchanging information and coordinating investigations. Following the settlements the Bundeskartellamt and ACM have closed the investigation into the harbour towage sector.
If you have any further questions on this issue or would like to receive more information, please contact your trusted adviser at the Loyens & Loeff Competition Team.