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U.S. authorities say the shipping company Horizon Lines LLC has agreed to plead guilty to fixing prices and to pay a $45 million fine.

A Justice Department statement Thursday says the company was accused of conspiring to fix rates and surcharges for freight transportation between the United States and Puerto Rico from May 2002 until April 2008.

Five former executives have been sentenced after pleading guilty in 2008 to charges related to the shipping conspiracy.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based company has a fleet of 20 U.S.-flagged cargo ships that carry items including heavy equipment, medicines and consumer goods.

In June 2009, the company agreed to pay $20 million to settle a class action price-fixing lawsuit.




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