BALTIMORE (WJZ)–A Japanese company is paying a $67.7 million criminal fine to the United States for conspiring to fix prices for international ocean shipping services at the Port of Baltimore and other locations.

The Justice Department said Friday that Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd., also known as “K” Line, pleaded guilty to one count.

READ MORE: Suspect Remains Hospitalized After Woodlawn Nail Spa Explosion

The government says the company conspired to suppress and eliminate competition by allocating customers and routes, rigging bids and fixing prices for international shipments of cars, trucks and heavy equipment.

READ MORE: FDA Clears COVID Booster Shot For Healthy Kids Ages 5 To 11

Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer says the conspiracy ran from at least 1997 to 2012.

He says it affected the shipping cost of large numbers of cars into and out of the Port of Baltimore and other ports around the world.

MORE NEWS: Author D. Watkins Reckons With East Baltimore Upbringing In New Memoir 'Black Boy Smile'

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)