Regulators O.K. Trucking Company Survey


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NEW YORK — The Department of Justice said Tuesday it would not oppose a plan by the National Association of Small Trucking Companies and the accounting firm Bell & Co. to conduct an operational and financial survey of small- and medium-sized trucking companies that the group plans to share with its members.

The Hendersonville, Tenn.-based association wants to provide it 2,250 members with competitive benchmarks and the government said it does not consider the idea anti-competitive and thinks it could lead to consumer benefits.

"In fact, with appropriate safeguards, such surveys can benefit consumers when industry members use information derived from such surveys to gain efficiencies and price their products or services more competitively," said Thomas O. Barnett, a Justice Department lawyer, in a letter to the trucking association.

Association President David Owen said the survey would offer smaller trucking companies benchmarks on items such as truck maintenance costs, fuel costs and driver wages.

Third parties would administer the survey and safeguards would ensure that no competitively sensitive business information gets exchanged. All information would be at least three months old and at least five or more trucking companies must participate before the information is published, the government said.

Souce: Houston Chronicle

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