By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, June 3 European Union antitrust
regulators have approved an alliance planned by world No. 1
container shipping company AP Moller-Maersk and
another that includes Japan's largest shipper Nippon Yusen
Kaisha aimed at tackling excess capacity.
Maersk unveiled the proposed tie-up with Switzerland-based
MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company and France's CMA CGM
, called the P3, in March.
The companies agreed to pool about 250 ships which will
operate on three trade routes, Asia-Europe, trans-Pacific and
trans-Atlantic in order to cut costs.
That deal followed a Far East-Europe alliance called G6,
which was set up in late 2011 and includes Nippon Yusen Kaisha,
and triggered scrutiny from the European Commission.
The EU watchdog said on Tuesday it did not plan to take any
action against either alliance.
"At this stage, the Commission does not intend to open
proceedings in relation to P3 or G6," said Antoine Colombani,
Commission spokesman for competition policy.
"The Commission will follow market developments and will
remain vigilant as regards any risks for competition that may
arise from the implementation of P3 or G6. The Commission will
consider intervening if necessary," he said.
U.S. regulators cleared the P3 in March.
The G6 is made up of world No. 5 Hapag-Lloyd, APL,
Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon
Yusen Kaisha and Orient Overseas Container Line.
The partnership has more than 90 ships in nine services
calling at more than 40 ports in Asia, Europe and the
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Erica Billingham)