Spain: Construction companies fined over price-fixing deal

Spain’s CNMC has fined six prefab module construction companies for a combined total of 9.3 million euros, confirming their findings of competition law violations. These include price fixing and setting exclusive territories, as well as several agreements for rigging government contract bids. The single largest fine was issued against market leader Dragados, a subsidiary of ACS, for 8,5 million euros.

The violations are believed to have taken place between 2008 and 2013, with the effects of the manipulation being felt up to early 2014 in several autonomous regions. Particularly serious are the various agreements entered into by these companies, through which they sought to share out government contract bids for the construction of pre-fab structures used as classrooms at public institutions in Andalucía, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalonia, Murcia and Valencia.

The investigation into the sector began in 2013, after construction company Algeco presented a leniency request and revealed the cartel’s existence. In December 2014, a series of dawn raids carried out on the companies’ headquarters prompted authorities to expand the investigation. Algeco was the first to come forward with evidence, while a third participant Alquibalat, has also come forward with information.

Source: El País

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