The US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has clarified its reason for rejecting a merger of NYK, MOL and K Line's boxship operations last week.

It said the deal could not be approved on jurisdictional grounds because it did not have the authority to assess what constituted a merger.

Some media reports claimed that the owners' desire to share information before the official launch next year also caused the decision as it was seen as "jumping the gun."

But FMC acting chairman Michael Khouri said: "It is unfortunate that such misinformation is circulating in the trade press about the commission’s deliberations in this matter suggesting that the FMC considered whether the authority sought by parties would violate antitrust laws administered by other competition agencies.