March 24, 2020 / 10:58 AM / 5 days ago

Cargo shipping to benefit from EU antitrust exemption till 2024

BRUSSELS, March 24 (Reuters) - Cargo shipping companies will continue to be exempted from antitrust rules against anti-competitive agreements until 2024 because this immunity ultimately leads to lower prices and better consumer services, EU antitrust regulators said on Tuesday.

First adopted in 2009 and extended for five years in 2014, the consortia block exemption regulation will now be in place until 2024.

It allows liner shipping operators with a combined market share below 30% to cooperate to provide joint liner shipping services known as consortia. However, fixing prices or splitting up the market among the companies are not condoned in these agreements.

Following a consultation launched last year, the European Commission said feedback showed that the regulation still offers benefits to the liner shipping industry and would be extended.

“The consortia block exemption regulation results in efficiencies for carriers that can better use vessels’ capacity and offer more connections,” the EU competition enforcer said. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)

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