Japanese Carriers Merge into ONE, Ocean Network Express

Japan’s three major shipping lines announced plans to merge into a single, consolidated joint venture company; the timing, however, remains in question. “K” Line, MOL, and NYK Lines intended to establish the Ocean Network Express (ONE) by April of 2018, however U.S. ‘gun jumping’ laws may force a much sooner launch. Earlier this month, the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) rejected the carriers’ joint venture proposal, citing that the Shipping Act of 1984 does not provide the FMC with the authority to approve mergers. This ‘tripartite’ agreement included provisions to prematurely transfer U.S. marine terminal shares and ownership interest within the new entity, which would violate the sharing of competitive information; already a major concern since the dawn of shipping alliance and vessel sharing agreements (VSA). The ONE must turn to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission to render a verdict.
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