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CARTELS: Fine for three construction companies for collusion in public tender co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund

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On May 25, 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 257 079.

The Office´s findings show that in 2009 the undertakings restricted competition in the market of construction and reconstruction works including supplies of devices in the territory of the Slovak Republic as they coordinated their conduct in bidding through exchange of sensitive information. Their conducts referred to public tender of supplies of goods and services for reconstruction of holiday resort in region of Žilina in the total amount of EUR 1 197 095,41.

The aim of the coordination was to award the contract to the predetermined applicant at the agreed price.  The conduct of undertakings was assessed as an agreement restricting competition pursuant to article 4 of the Act on Protection of Competition grounded in direct or indirect price fixing, market allocation and collusive behaviour in public tender. In this context, 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 undertakings concerned, the Office does not provide any details on this decision.