THE ANTITRUST Office (PMÚ) has fined four unspecified construction companies €613,644 for signing a cartel agreement. The companies reportedly coordinated their activities in a public procurement that took place in 2010 in Košice Region. The decision is not valid yet since the fined firms can still appeal it.

“The subject of the order was the reconstruction of the former medical facility which currently provides services in the social services area,” said Andrea Wilhelmová, spokesperson for PMÚ, as quoted by the SITA newswire. She added that the project was financed via the European Regional Development Fund, Slovakia’s state budget and the Environmental Fund, which allocated altogether more than €2 million.

The PMÚ received information about the possible cartel agreement from another state body. To confirm the suspicion, it carried out unannounced inspections at the premises of the construction companies. Though it has not received any direct proof of the cartel agreement, there was other evidence and a certain number of “corresponding events” that as a whole proved that the firms coordinated their activities and violated the rules for competition, Wilhelmová explained, as reported by SITA.

She, however, did not reveal any details since the decision is still not valid.

The PMÚ ordered the construction firms to pay €354,719, €158,783, €56,485 and €43,657. The companies have 15 days to appeal the decision, SITA wrote.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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