Why Is The World’s Largest Container Line Subpoenaed?

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A recent news article published in the Loadstar states that Maersk subpoenaed as part of US probe into ‘supply chain collusion’.

Maersk on going investigation

Maersk has told The Loadstar its subpoena by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) is tied to an “ongoing investigation into supply chain disruption”.

However, with no official announcement or response from the DOJ to requests for comment, there is scant detail on why the world’s second-largest container line has been subpoenaed.

The carrier’s North America spokesperson, Tom Boyd, confirmed to The Loadstar that  it was linked to the investigation, adding: “We have not seen evidence of any actual or alleged wrongdoing on the part of Maersk, and will continue to cooperate with the DOJ as they continue their investigation.”

It is not known if other carriers have been subpoenaed, but the news underlines renewed interest on the container shipping sector, with the Biden administration known to be keen on challenging a sector that saw historic rate increases amid the pandemic.

Plans of President Biden

Indeed, in his State of the Union address this month, President Biden underscored his plans to remove shipping’s exemption from competition law.

Furthermore, the US and its Five Eyes partners – Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK – announced that they would be widening their intelligence gathering to investigate supply chain collusion.

The move is intended to “put firms on notice” over suspected anti-competitive behaviour, collusion and “using Covid as an opportunity for cartel conduct”.

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Source: The LoadStar

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