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Spain: Regulator dismantels Asturias cement cartel

 |  March 7, 2017

Spanish regulator CNMC has imposed fines on 13 companies and one individual, for a total of €6.12 million euros, over their participation in a price-fixing cartel set up to manipulate the supply of cement in the Asturias region that had been active for 15 years.

The companies were found to have made arrangements to divide amongst themselves contracts for public and private tenders, exchanging information to secure said contracts and keeping track of their secret agreements. These actions are believed to have affected several major public works in the province, including the Asturias Central University Hospital (HUCA) in Gijón. The companies involved in the cartel divided up this and other contracts by abusing the Temporary Company Partnership (Uniones Temporales de Empresas, UTE) classification in order to access major public contracts.

The CNMC has also verified the exchange of sensitive information between the companies and their efforts to keep track of said agreements as part of their modus operandi. This took place during meetings, through e-mail and private messaging apps. The communications were always treated as secret, with aliases and codes used to protect the identities of those involved.

Full Content: CNMC

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