HYDE CHALLENGES U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT’S SUPPORT OF LINES’ ANTITRUST IMMUNITY
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde challenged a State
Department response to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development warning against eliminating ocean carriers’ right to set rates
in conferences and voluntary rate guidelines in discussion agreements.
Hyde, in a letter to Secretary of State Medeleine Albright, challenged
the State Department’s arguments that passage of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act and
hearings held by Hyde’s committee in May pointed to continued endorsement of shipping
lines’ antitrust immunity.
"I remain skeptical of antitrust immunity," Hyde said in the
The recent sale of the international shipping operations of Sea-Land
Service Inc. to A.P. Moller, parent of Maersk Line, "only heightens my
skepticism," Hyde said.
Deliberations on the shipping reform act "were simply inconclusive as to
whether antitrust immunity should be continued," Hyde said.