Japanese shipping giant "K" Line has announced an extraordinary loss of JPY5.72 billion (US$54.81 million) in its fiscal third quarter ending December 31 ahead of price fixing fines expected from the Japan Fair Trade Commission.
"This is in preparation for losses that may occur in conjunction with the recent announcement titled "Receipt of Advance Notice of Draft Orders from the Japan Fair Trade Commission" dated January 9, 2014," said the "K" Line statement.
"The impact on 'K' Line's consolidated financial results forecasts for fiscal year 2013 is under examination," said the company.
Some US$210 million in price-fixing fines in automobile shipping is expected to be awarded to Japan's NYK, "K" Line and Norway's Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL).
The companies, together with MOL unit Nissan Motor Car Carrier, as well as Norway's Wallenius Wilhelmsen, said they have received a draft fine from Japan's Fair Trade Commission.
WWL faces a $33 million fine, one of its parent companies said. The three other companies declined to comment on the details of the draft order, but the total fine is said to be Japan's second highest for price fixing.
The four companies are alleged to have conspired to fix prices of auto shipments from Japan to North America and Europe, a source told Reuters.
Regulators in the United States and Europe are also probing the case, a source said.
MOL is expected to seek leniency in exchange for cooperation, Japanese media reported. EUKOR Car Carriers, held 40 per cent by WWL, has not been named in the draft orders, WWL said.