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Document 52018XX0906(02)

Final Report of the Hearing Officer — Maritime Car Carriers (AT.40009)

OJ C 314, 6.9.2018, p. 7–7 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)



Official Journal of the European Union

C 314/7

Final Report of the Hearing Officer (1)

Maritime Car Carriers


(2018/C 314/08)

On 12 October 2016, the Commission initiated proceedings pursuant to Article 11(6) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 (2) and Article 2(1) of Regulation (EC) No 773/2004 (3) against the following five undertakings: MOL (4), ‘K’ Line (5), NYK (6), The WWL and EUKOR undertaking (7) and CSAV (8) (collectively ‘the parties’).

Following settlement discussions and settlement submissions in accordance with Article 10a(2) of Regulation (EC) No 773/2004, the Commission adopted a Statement of Objections (‘SO’) on 8 December 2017, addressed to the parties. According to the SO, the parties participated in a single and continuous infringement of Article 101 of the TFEU and Article 53 of the European Economic Area (‘EEA’) Agreement, which consisted in the coordination of prices, the allocation of customers and exchange of commercially sensitive information with regard to the provision of deep sea carriage of new motor vehicles (cars, trucks, and high and heavy vehicles) on various routes at least to and from the EEA.

In their respective replies to the SO, the parties confirmed pursuant to Article 10a(3) of Regulation (EC) No 773/2004 that the SO reflected the contents of their settlement submissions.

The draft decision finds that the parties infringed Article 101 of the TFEU and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement by participating in a single and continuous infringement consisting of the coordination of prices and the allocation of customers with regard to the provision of deep sea car carriage of new motor vehicles (cars, trucks and high and heavy vehicles) on various routes to and from the EEA. For the five aforementioned undertakings, the infringement is found to have started on 18 October 2006 and to have respectively lasted until 24 May 2012 in so far as MOL is concerned and until 6 September 2012 for the other four aforementioned undertakings.

Pursuant to Article 16 of Decision 2011/695/EU, I have examined whether the draft decision deals only with objections in respect of which the parties have been afforded the opportunity of making known their views. I conclude that it does so.

In view of the above, and taking into account that the parties have not addressed any requests or complaints to me (9), I consider that the effective exercise of the procedural rights of the parties to the proceedings in this case has been respected.

Brussels, 19 February 2018.

Wouter WILS

(1)  Pursuant to Articles 16 and 17 of Decision 2011/695/EU of the President of the European Commission of 13 October 2011 on the function and terms of reference of the hearing officer in certain competition proceedings (OJ L 275, 20.10.2011, p. 29).

(2)  Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (OJ L 1, 4.1.2003, p. 1).

(3)  Commission Regulation (EC) No 773/2004 of 7 April 2004 relating to the conduct of proceedings by the Commission pursuant to Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty (OJ L 123, 27.4.2004, p. 18).

(4)  Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd, Mitsui O.S.K. (Europe Africa), Ltd (former name during the whole period of infringement: Mitsui O.S.K. Bulk Shipping (Europe) Ltd) and Nissan Motor Car Carrier Co., Ltd (together ‘MOL’).

(5)  Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd (‘“K” Line’).

(6)  Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (‘NYK’).

(7)  Wallenius Wilhemsen Logistics AS, EUKOR Car Carriers, Inc., Wallenius Logistics AB, Wilhemsen Ships Holding Malta Limited, Wallenius Lines AB and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics ASA (former name: Wilh. Wilhemsen ASA) (together ‘The WWL and EUKOR undertaking’).

(8)  Compañia Sudamericana de Vapores SA (‘CSAV’).

(9)  Under Article 15(2) of Decision 2011/695/EU, parties to the proceedings in cartel cases which engage in settlement discussions pursuant to Article 10a of Regulation (EC) No 773/2004, may call upon the hearing officer at any stage during the settlement procedure in order to ensure the effective exercise of their procedural rights. See also paragraph 18 of Commission Notice 2008/C 167/01 on the conduct of settlement procedures in view of the adoption of Decisions pursuant to Article 7 and Article 23 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 in cartel cases (OJ C 167, 2.7.2008, p. 1.