The HKCC’s recent decision on the Hong Kong Liner Shipping Association’s block exemption application clarifies that shipping lines are permitted to operate joint shipping services and share carrier space where their combined market shares do not exceed 40%. This position is in line with many other jurisdictions that recognise the value and economic efficiencies from such cooperative agreements in this particular sector.

By declining to issue a similar view on industry information sharing agreements, the HKCC also reinforced that the exchange of competitively sensitive information can be competitively harmful and a contravention of the law. Companies would be prudent to self-assess any conduct involving the making of pricing recommendations or the sharing of pricing information.