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Liner Shipping, Antitrust And The Repeal Of Regulation 4056/86: A New Era Of Global Maritime Confrontation?

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Chapter Summary

Before October 2006, the whole shipping sector was subject to special rules: tramp shipping and cabotage were exempted from the legal regime established to implement Articles 81 and 82 EC. Regulation no. 4056/862 provided a special antitrust regime for liner shipping, and in particular established a block exemption for liner conferences, that is, for price-fixing cartels among shipowners operating in international liner trades. This chapter offers a preliminary comment on the effects on liner shipping only of the implications deriving from the new European maritime policy. Economic and political reasons were, in fact, the main advocates of the antitrust immunity enjoyed for so many decades by liner shipping companies. From the economic point of view, the success story of liner conferences had its basis in the economic theory arguing and accepting that liner conferences were necessary to secure the stability of trade.

Keywords: antitrust immunity; European maritime policy; international liner trades; liner conferences; liner shipping; price-fixing cartels; regulation no. 4056/862



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