EC frees shipping group from competition law

The European Commission(EC) has granted a competition law exemption to seven of the world's largest liner shipping companies, including P&O Nedlloyd, AP Moller Maersk-Sealand and Hapag-Lloyd. The landmark decision, which follows more than a decade of discussions between the shipping companies and the Commission, clarifies the application of EC competition law to the shipping industry. The shipping companies, represented by Lovells partner John Pheasant, belong to a group named the Trans-Atlantic Conference Agreement.