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Information Exchange Agreements Between Liner Shipping Companies Under EC Competition Law

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Chapter Summary

Although the European Court of Justice has developed a substantial body of case law clarifying the application of Article 81 EC both generally and in relation to liner shipping, there is considerable uncertainty and tension about the way in which Article 81 EC will apply to co-operation between liner shipping companies in the future, particularly from the carriers' perspective. The Commission has attempted to assist the industry by issuing its Guidelines on application of Article 81 EC to maritime transport services. This chapter analyses the application of Article 81 EC to information sharing between liner shipping companies. It assesses some aspects of liner consortia in the light of new competition policy in the EU. Finally, the chapter takes a brief look at Article 82 EC, which offers an alternative means of addressing uncompetitive joint practices by liner shipping companies.

Keywords: Article 81 EC; competition policy; European Court of Justice; information sharing; liner consortia; liner shipping companies; maritime transport services



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