February 26, 2019 / 4:23 PM / 23 days ago

Hapag-Lloyd says U.S. shipping probe closed, free of obligations

FILE PHOTO: A Hapag Lloyd container ship is loaded at a shipping terminal in the harbour of Hamburg, Germany, March 25, 2017. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd is cleared of a U.S. Department of Justice probe into the practices of container shipping companies, with no charges brought, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

“Hapag-Lloyd was informed that the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division is closing its investigation without charges against the company, its affiliates or any other current or former employees,” he said.

This followed similar statements by bigger rivals Maersk and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) earlier in the day.

The investigation could have resulted in large fines at a time when the container sector is struggling with slowing global economic growth.

Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Tom Sims

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