Watchdogs Pledge Crackdown on Global Supply Chain Collusion

Watchdogs Pledge Crackdown on Global Supply Chain Collusion
Trucks wait in line to be inspected after crossing the border between Mexico and the United States. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

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Companies that use global supply chains to cover up collusion and criminal conduct could face fines equivalent to 10% of their revenue.

That’s the pledge from a group of five agencies in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and New Zealand that have formed a working group to monitor anticompetitive and corrupt behavior in supply chains.

Global supply chains creaked under the pressure of the coronavirus pandemic. Last year shipping rates rose to multiyear highs and consumers have faced delays and price increases.

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said Feb. 17 it will meet regularly with its four counterparts to share intelligence. The agencies are concerned that some firms may be using the disruption to cheat other businesses and consumers.

Those found to be using it as cover for illegal conduct could face fines of 10% of global revenue, director disqualifications or criminal prosecutions, CMA said.

“While price rises can be legitimate, the CMA would be concerned if collusive anti-competitive practices are contributing to these rises or preventing prices from coming down,” said Michael Grenfell, executive director of enforcement at CMA.

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