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Horizon Lines’ fine reduced by $30M

Horizon Lines today said a federal court has reduced a fine the company must pay for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices.

At the request of the U.S. Department of Justice, the court lowered the fine from $45 million to $15 million, the Charlotte-based company said.

In February, Horizon Lines pleaded guilty to a one-count felony charge that accused the company of participating in a scheme to fix rates and surcharges to transport freight over water between the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico from at least as early as May 2002 until at least April 2008, DOJ said.

According to the charge, Horizon Lines and others carried out the conspiracy by agreeing to allocate customers of Puerto Rico freight services and to fix the fees to be charged to purchasers of water transportation of freight.

Horizon Lines said that as a result of the lower fine it is no longer at risk of defaulting on its senior notes due in 2012.

The $15 million fine is payable over five years without interest.

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