17 January 2018
Ocean Network Express container liner joint venture - approved subject to conditions
Following its investigation, the Competition Commission had prohibited a joint venture that would combine the global container liner shipping businesses of NYK., MOL, and K-Line, to form Ocean Network Express, due to concerns that the transaction would lead to coordinated effects in the container liner shipping market, as well as spill over effects in adjacent markets in which each of the joint venture parties would continue to operate independently, such as car carrier and bulk shipping services. The parties applied to the Competition Tribunal for a consideration, and an RBB team led by Patrick Smith, and assisted by Jacob Muller, submitted an expert report to the Tribunal, assessing the effect of the joint venture on competition in container liner shipping services, as well as adjacent shipping markets. The Commission ultimately abandoned its concerns in container liner shipping services, and the Commission and the Parties jointly proposed a range of conditions, that were later approved by the Tribunal, relating to the exchange of competitively sensitive information between the container liner shipping joint venture, and the parties’ adjacent and independent car carrier shipping and bulk shipping businesses. RBB was instructed by Webber Wentzel, attorneys acting for the parties.