Eimskip agrees to pay biggest ever fine
Samkeppniseftirlit has been investigating Eimskip for illegal collaboration with competitor Samskip from 2008 to 2013.
The illegal activity included the companies collaborating to change sailing timetables, limiting cargo capacity, collaboration on how to apply tolls and discounts, collaboration on cargo sailings on both sides of the Atlantic, and collaboration on over-land transport in Iceland.
Eimskip also admits to breaking competition law by not providing necessary or correct information and documentation required for the Samkeppniseftirlit investigation.
Followed leads in 2013
Samkeppniseftirlit received complaints about possible breaches at Eimskip and Samskip, from both customers and competitors, and reacted by raiding the offices of both companies in September 2013. A second search of the premises took place in June 2014.
The scale of the investigation was unprecedented in Iceland and the fine Eimskip agreed to is the highest ever imposed for competition breaches.
The director of Eimskip says settling with Samkeppniseftirlit was the best outcome in the situation. The highest ever competition breaches fine by far is a sizeable blow to the company, he says, but it is financially secure nevertheless.
“Such cases bring uncertainty and it was our opinion that the most favourable would be to settle on the case, which we have now done. We have been working in recent years on changing our operation. There are new main owners of the company today and we have been changing management procedures,” says Vilhelm Már Þorsteinsson, director of Eimskip.
The head of Samkeppniseftirlit would not comment, because the case against Samskip is still open.