Vasu files another case against shipping industry monopolisation
Court of Appeal last week issued notices on Ocean Network Express (O.N.E) and alleged partners on trade monopolisation and others returnable for March 19.
The bench comprised Justices P.padman Surasena (President/ca) and Shiran Gooneratne.
Parliamentarian Vasudeva Nanayakkara, the whistle-blower in this case, filed Writ petition citing Director General of Merchant Shipping, Ports & Shipping Minister, Finance & Mass Media Minister, Hayleys Advants Ltd., Mclarens Investments (Pvt) Ltd., Ocean Network Express (O.N.E) Lanka (Pvt) Ltd., and UMI Shipping (Pvt) Ltd., as respondents.
Faisz Musthapha PC with Faiza Markar, Akeel Deen and Rajika Aluvihare instructed by B.s.u.fernando appeared for the petitioner.
Petitioner in his public interest litigation alleges that Hayleys Advants and/or Mclarens are allegedly monopolising and/or carrying out restrictive practices in the Sri Lankan shipping industry.
He states that the Hayleys Advants Ltd. has acquired 94.81percent equity of Sri Lanka Shipping Company Ltd for a purchase of about Rs.4.9 billion.
He impugns the acquisition is in line with the Hayleys PLC groups strategy of ‘expanding its maritime operations and paving way for the establishment of the largest marine and shipping company in Sri Lanka.’
He says Hayleys Advants Ltd. is said to control 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s hipping and maritime services market and laments it is seeking to acquire more acquisitions in the shipping sector with a view to increase its market share in the future.
He states all those principals operate in Sri Lanka through companies incorporated to carry out their operations in collaboration with their respective agents.
He alleges that Hayleys Advants Ltd. and Mclarens Investments (Pvt) Ltd. are monopolising and/or combining and/or conspiring with others to monopolise the shipping industry of Sri Lanka and the restrictive practices are openly and deliberately being carried out in relation to such industry.
Restrictive practices and monopolisation causes inefficient allocation, social and economic disparity, provision of inferior services, elimination of competition, dominant entities, prevention of new entrants and considerable political influence to scuttle political and regulatory process, he elaborates.