COMPETITORS RECEIVE FINES FOR SHARING TENDER ALLOCATION
Konkurencijos taryba found that companies Pasvalio melioracija, Jadrana, Panevėžio melioracija and Biržų ranga concluded a bid-rigging cartel: cartelists colluded their actions and bids, including bid price, and agreed in advance on the winner of the tender. Konkurencijos taryba fined these companies a total of EUR 977,900.
Having received initial information from the Special Investigation Service (anti-corruption agency), Konkurencijos taryba opened an investigation which revealed that the aforementioned competitors agreed on the prices in 25 public tenders on street and road repair and land melioration works organised by three municipalities from 2012 to 2017. By doing so, the companies helped each other to win contracts in different territories of Lithuania.
Konkurencijos taryba also detected that the firms would agree not to submit bids in certain tenders and thus helped their competitors to get through the tender process successfully.
Three out of four companies acknowledged their involvement in the cartel, which disclosed a long-term scheme between the competitors who would agree to bid higher than they normally would, allowing their competitors to win tenders in the territories where they were operating.
“The scheme has existed in all municipalities for a long time. Managers of melioration companies know each other well, therefore, there have been no difficulties in finding a “friendly“ company that would contribute to the tender“, – said a manager of one of the cartelists.
Konkurencijos taryba notes that cartel agreements are one of the most serious competition law infringements which result in higher prices and impaired quality of products and services.
Having evaluated the scope, duration and other circumstances relating to the infringement, Pasvalio melioracija and Jadrana, both constituting one economic entity, were fined EUR 399,200, Panevėžio melioracija EUR 209 800 and Biržų ranga EUR 368 900.