Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) and its Kia affiliate have sued the four largest U.S. railroads, accusing them of violating U.S. antitrust law by conspiring to drive up shipping costs though coordinated fuel surcharges.
The South Korean automakers filed three lawsuits accusing BNSF, CSX Corp (CSX.O), Norfolk Southern Corp (NSC.N) and Union Pacific Corp (UNP.N) of imposing the surcharges between July 2003 and December 2008.
BNSF is a unit of billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N), but was a standalone company at the time of the alleged conspiracy.
The lawsuits seek triple damages and were filed in the federal court in Santa Ana, California, near the automakers’ respective U.S. headquarters.
Lawyers for BNSF referred a request for comment to that company, which did not immediately respond. —Reuters