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CARTELS: AMO fined three construction companies for collusion in public tender conducted within the operational programme Competitiveness and Economic Growth

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On June 10, 2015 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, Division of Cartels issued a decision by which it imposed a fine on three undertakings acting in construction industry in the total amount of EUR 148 115.

The Office´s findings show that in 2008 the undertakings restricted competition in the market of construction and reconstruction works including supplies of devices in the territory of the Slovak Republic by coordinating their bidding procedure in the tender for the adjustment of the building structure to new technologies in the estimated value of SKK 3 560 000 without VAT (EUR 118 170,35 without VAT). This project was carried out in Prešov region within the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Economic Growth and co-financed by the Regional Development European Fund and state budget.

The aim of the coordination was to award the contract to the predetermined applicant at the agreed price. The conduct of the undertakings was assessed as an agreement restricting competition pursuant to article 4 of the Act on Protection of Competition consisting in direct or indirect price fixing, market allocation and collusive behaviour in public tender. In this contest the Office states that the collusion in public procurement or in public tender is considered as one of the most serious infringement of competition rules.

Decision of the Antimonopoly Office is not valid.

Since this is a first instance decision, which may be appealed, the Office does not provide any further information.