The Commission confirmed that it carried out an unannounced inspection on 17 May 2011 at the premises of container liner shipping companies operating in several Member States. The Commission was looking for evidence of whether the companies concerned engaged in anti-competitive practices. Until October 2008, liner shipping conferences to agree routes, prices and terms benefited from a block exemption. Several companies involved have publicly indicated that they were part of the investigation. Shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd confirmed its involvement in the investigation, stating that it was working closely with the investigating authority. Similarly, Christian Kledal, head of Group Legal, A.P. Moller – Maersk Group issued a statement confirming that “the European Commission carried out an unannounced inspection in our offices.” He went on to say that “It is our clear opinion that our practices are in compliance with EU competition legislation”. The investigation is still at an early stage.