India Investigates Global Delivery Giants for Suspected Tariff Collusion

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is currently examining the local operations of global delivery giants, including DHL, UPS, and FedEx, over allegations of collusion on discounts and tariffs. This investigation aligns with a broader trend in the logistics industry, with regulatory scrutiny increasing globally.

Triggered by a complaint from the Federation of Indian Publishers, the inquiry alleges that DHL, FedEx, UPS, and Dubai’s Aramex, along with domestic firms, collectively set charges and controlled customer discounts, potentially violating Indian antitrust laws. The CCI initiated the review, delving into a plethora of emails to investigate fees charged by companies for airport services.

Documents reveal claims by publishers that executives exchanged commercially sensitive information related to volumes, charges, and discounts on courier and storage services at airports before determining rates. The CCI’s preliminary assessment highlights the apparent sharing of commercially sensitive information among the companies for joint decision-making on tariffs.

However, FedEx denied the allegations, emphasizing cooperation with the CCI and commitment to legal compliance. DHL also expressed full cooperation and adherence to legal standards, along with UPS who confirmed their cooperation.

If proven guilty, the companies could face fines up to three times the profit for each year the fee was fixed or 10% of annual revenue for each year of violation, whichever is greater. This investigation adds to a series of global cases, with fines imposed in France in 2015, signaling an increasing focus on ensuring fair practices in the logistics industry.