Executive summary, by the Secretariat * Considering the discussion at the roundtable, delegates’ written submissions, and the Secretariat’s background paper, several key points emerge: (1) Since its inception, the ocean liner shipping industry has been governed by the so-called “conferences” – agreements among carriers to fix prices and regulate capacity. These cartel- like agreements have benefited from exemptions from antitrust laws in several jurisdictions for a very long time. The claimed rationale for the benefits of the conference system is that they are necessary to avoid the aggressive price wars amongst carriers that would stem from the fixed-cost nature of the industry and the existence of excess capacity. Recently, several competition authorities have called for an abolition
The OECD holds a roundtable on competition issues in liner shipping
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