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CARTELS: AMO imposed a fine of EUR 2,55 mil. for a cartel in construction of healthcare facility

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On July 7, 2015 the Antimonopoly Office of the Slovak Republic, Division of Cartels issued a decision imposing fines totalling EUR 2 547 551 on three undertakings for coordination of the procedure in the tender for construction of healthcare facility in Košice region. The contract in the total amount of EUR 26 889 937,50 was co-financed by the European Union Funds within the Operational Programme Healthcare.

The fined entities include two undertakings acting in the construction industry which have submitted their bids in the tender and one undertaking providing services for the contracting authority. The Office received information and documents justifying the initiation of the administrative proceeding from law enforcement authorities. These documents have shown that two undertakings agreed on the winner of the tender and the undertaking providing services for the contracting authority assisted in implementation of this agreement.

The Office assessed the conduct of undertakings 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 term the Office states that 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 it is a first-instance decision which could be appealed by the undertaking concerned, the Office does not provide any details on this decision.