DOJ Expands Scrutiny of Possible Supply-Chain Profiteers
Maritime attorney Gerald Morrissey was quoted in a FreightWaves article about a new U.S. Department of Justice initiative that will target a wider swath of transportation companies that it deems may be using supply chain disruption to gouge customers. The initiative broadens the scope of the Biden administration’s heightened scrutiny of anticompetitive behavior in various industry segments, including transportation. In July, DOJ and the Federal Maritime Commission signed a first-time agreement to sharpen economic oversight of foreign ocean carriers serving in the U.S. international container trades. The agreement came days after President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at curbing potential anticompetitive behavior among 72 industries, including ocean carriers and freight railroads. Mr. Morrissey commented that this new initiative will put companies involved with trucking, warehousing, 3PLs and last-mile delivery on notice as well.
"Certainly the focus here is on other elements of the supply chain that haven’t gotten as much attention as ocean carriers and marine terminals but are needed to get cargo to and from inland destinations," he said. "This is really saying that any company in the supply chain, particularly those that are not subject to some form of antitrust immunity [such as ocean carriers and marine terminals] could be in the crosshairs for potential complaints by customers or competitors with this increased focus from DOJ."