What’s Old is New Again: U.S. Liner Antitrust Immunity Review

Posted with the permission of LexisNexis from Benedict’s Maritime Bulletin. Copyright 2010 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Since the advent of the steamship service in the late 19th century, the international liner industry has been organized into horizontally cooperating “conferences” and shielded from open competition. In the early 1900s, governments expressly exempted the liner industry from the new antitrust legislation, including the Shipping Act of 1916 in the United States, which provided legal sanction for horizontal cooperation, including price fixing and supply control by the conferences.