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FMC Gets Legal Support From Justice Dept. to Go After Violators

The Justice Department and the Federal Maritime Commission will be aggressively going after those who violate the Shipping Act and related laws.

The Justice Department and the FMC reaffirmed on February 28, 2022, their continuing commitment to jointly enforcing competition laws and strengthening their cooperation to promote competition in the ocean freight transportation system.

FMC Chairman Daniel B. Maffei said the two agencies will strengthen the partnership formalized by the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in July 2021.

The Justice Department will provide the FMC with the support of attorneys and economists from the Antitrust Division for enforcement of violations of the Shipping Act and related laws. The FMC will provide the Antitrust Division with support and maritime industry expertise for Sherman Act and Clayton Act enforcement actions.

“The Justice Department will continue to aggressively enforce our antitrust laws – no matter the industry, no matter the company, and no matter the individual,” said Attorney General Garland in a press release. “Competition in the maritime industry is integral to lowering prices, improving quality of service, and strengthening supply chain resilience. Expanding joint enforcement partnerships like the partnership between the FMC and DOJ is one of our most powerful tools for promoting competition. Lawbreakers should know that the Justice Department will provide the Federal Maritime Commission all necessary litigation support as it pursues its mission of promoting competition in ocean shipping.”

“The Attorney General and I share both the priority of a competitive marketplace and a commitment to pursue enforcement actions when necessary,” said Chairman Maffei. “Our agencies have a history of cooperating to the benefit of the American consumer and this new support will help ensure that the working relationship will help both government entities in our shared goal of fair competition.”

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