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Freight-Forwarding Companies Said to Face EU Price-Fixing Fines

March 27 (Bloomberg) -- Companies including Ceva Group Plc may be fined by European Union regulators for price-fixing in the freight-forwarding market, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The European Commission may fine the companies as soon as tomorrow for operating a cartel in freight-forwarding services between the EU, the U.S. and Asia, said the people, who couldn’t be identified because the decision isn’t final.

United Parcel Service Inc., Expeditors International of Washington Inc., UTi Worldwide Inc., Kuehne & Nagel International AG and the French unit of DSV A/S were among companies sent formal antitrust complaints by the EU in 2010. Freight forwarding involves organizing the transportation of goods along with related activities such as customs clearance, warehousing and ground services.

Deutsche Post AG, based in Bonn, said in 2010 it “and relevant subsidiaries” were granted immunity from fines by the EU “conditional upon DHL Global Forwarding’s continued cooperation.” Operators of a cartel risk being fined as much as 10 percent of their global revenue.

Norman Black, a spokesman for UPS in Atlanta, didn’t immediately respond to a voice-mail message seeking comment. Kuehne + Nagel and DSV didn’t respond to calls and e-mails outside normal business hours. Deutsche Post and UTi couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Erin Talbott, a spokeswoman for Expeditors, didn’t immediately respond to a voice mail requesting comment. A call to Ceva Group in London wasn’t immediately answered after office hours.

Reuters reported on the expected fines earlier today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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