COMPETITION COUNCIL DISCLOSED ANTI-COMPETITIVE AGREEMENT AMONG BIDDERS
The Competition Council (KT) discovered that five building and construction companies, namely UAB Convertus, UAB UGNA, UAB Aketus, UAB Aestus and UAB Gedarta, rigged their bids in the procurement organised by UAB Baltic Transport Service in 2011 – 2012.
“Intentional bid-rigging is a serious infringement of the Law on Competition. I am happy that the KT‘s experts completed investigation where the procurer‘s responsibility for the damages caused by bid-rigging was clearly assessed. Hopefully, the conclusions of this investigation will lead to greater transparency of public procurement system and will improve competitive environment.”- says Jolanta Ivanauskienė, the Council Member.
In 2011 - 2012 UAB Baltic Transport Service organised public procurement for construction works funded under the Rural Development Programme for Lithuania 2007 – 2013. The KT‘s experts found that the winning bidder was known in advance, meanwhile others submitted concerted bids and took part in the procurement procedure only to create the impression of genuine competition.
The investigation revealed that UAB Baltic Transport Services, the procurer, encouraged bid-rigging as well as participated in the bid-rigging process. Having taken into consideration all the relevant circumstances, the KT determined that UAB Baltic Transport Services was a party to the anti-competitive agreements concluded among the suppliers in 2011 – 2012 and fined the following companies:
- UAB Convertus – 25 000 LTL (7 240 EUR)
- UAB Gedarta – 20 800 LTL (6 024 EUR)
- UAB UGNA – 7 800 LTL (2 259 EUR)
- UAB Aestus – 1 200 LTL (347 EUR)
The KT highlights that the amount of the fine depends on the turnover of the infringing party. Given the fact that in 2011 – 2012 UAB Baltic Transport Services received no income, the KT had no legal grounds to impose a fine on this company.
Once the decision comes into force, the KT will consider personal liability of the executives involved in anti-competitive agreements. Having taken into account the KT‘s request and other relevant circumstances, the court will decide whether the executives are personally liable for the breach.Competition Council Spokesperson