* Kuehne & Nagel has largest fine of 53.67 mln euros
* 14 companies involved in cartel, including Panalpina, UPS
* No fine for whistleblower Deutsche Post
By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, March 28 Thirteen logistics firms,
including UPS, Panalpina and Expeditors
, were fined a total 169 million euros ($225 million) by
the European Commission on Wednesday for cartel activities.
Deutsche Post unit DHL Global Forwarding, which
took part in the collusion but alerted the regulator, escaped a
financial penalty, confirming a Reuters story on Tuesday.
The European Commission said the companies fixed prices in
the air freight forwarding business in four cartels between 2002
and 2007, identifying themselves in their secret talks with code
names such as "asparagus" and "baby courgettes".
"In times of crisis, it is all the more important to stamp
out the hidden tax that cartels impose on our economy. These
cartels affected individuals and companies shipping goods on
important trade lanes," EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin
Almunia said in a statement.
"Many European exporters and consumers of imported goods may
have been harmed as a result," he said.
The largest fine was for Switzerland's Kuehne & Nagel
, which was charged 53.67 million euros. The company
said it may challenge the penalty.
Panalpina received the second-biggest fine of 46.48 million
euros and said it was would analyse the decision before deciding
on its next move. The third-biggest penalty of 34.94 million
euros was for Deutsche Bahn's logistics unit Schenker
UPS was fined 9.76 million euros. UPS spokesman Norman Black
said the company would review the EU decision before deciding
whether to challenge it.
Expeditors was fined 4.14 million euros, Nippon Express
(China) 812,000 euros, Kuwaiti firm Agility
4.96 million euros, UTi 3.07 million euros and
Denmark's DSV Air & Sea SAS 379,000 euros.
CEVA/EGL received a 3.03 million euro penalty and Germany's
Hellmann Worldwide Logistics 4.28 million euros.