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China blocks proposed global shipping alliance between 3 biggest ocean carriers

Published on Jun 17, 2014 9:15 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - China announced on Tuesday that it was blocking a proposed alliance among global shipping giants due to competition concerns.

Denmark's A.P. Moeller-Maersk, France's CMA CGM and the Swiss MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company - the world's three biggest ocean carriers - announced plans for their so-called P3 Network in June last year. The aim was to use a combined fleet to cut costs on Asia-Europe, trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes.

But China's Commerce Ministry said in a statement it had decided to prohibit the alliance after conducting an anti-trust assessment. The ministry said the alliance, had it gone ahead, would "have a far-reaching impact on the global shipping industry and cause a high level of concern in all sectors".

It added that the alliance would increase the parties' "combined capacity in container shipping on Asia-Europe routes" and give them a "substantial increase in market concentration".

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