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From Antitrust Law Daily, August 19, 2015

Japanese vehicle shipper Mitsui agrees to settle price fixing action

By Linda O’Brien, J.D., LL.M.

In multidistrict litigation against providers of ocean vehicle carrier services for allegedly engaging in a conspiracy to fix the prices for vehicle carrier services to and from the United States, defendant Mitsui O.S.K. Lines has reached a settlement agreement with the indirect purchaser plaintiffs, according to a letter filed in the federal district court in Newark, New Jersey (In re Vehicle Carrier Services Antitrust Litigation, August 17, 2015).

Ocean transportation companies operate specialized cargo ships known as Roll On/Roll Off vessels that transport large numbers of newly assembled cars, trucks, and other vehicles. A series of class action suits were filed against Japanese transport company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and several other vehicle carrier providers for conspiring to fix the prices for vehicle carrier services and allocate markets and customers. In October 2013, the cases were transferred to New Jersey by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation for centralized pretrial proceedings.

According to the letter, automobile dealers, truck and equipment dealers, and other indirect purchasers have reached a settlement agreement with defendant Mitsui. The agreement has been memorialized in a memorandum of understanding that is subject only to the approval of Mitsui’s Board of Directors, which is expected to occur on September 30.

The details of the settlement were not disclosed. However, the letter noted that the parties agreed to keep the financial terms of the settlement confidential and would move for preliminary approval after the settlement is negotiated and executed.

Attorneys: Warren T. Burns (Burns Charest LLP), Hollis Salzman (Robins Kaplan LLP), Joseph W. Cotchett (Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP), and James E. Cecchi (Carella, Byrne, Cecchi, Olstein, Brody & Agnello, P.C.) for the end payor plaintiffs.

Companies: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd.; Mitsui O.S.K. Bulk Shipping, Inc.; World Logistics Services USA, Inc.; Nissan Motor Car Carrier Co. Ltd.

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust NewJerseyNews

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