Verdict over 2006 cartel agreement in construction tender is valid

THE VERDICT issued by the Supreme Court at the end of 2013, in which it upheld the previous decision of the Antitrust Office (PMÚ) to fine six construction firms for signing a cartel agreement, became valid on March 20. This means that the firms now have 30 days to pay a fine totalling €45 million, the SITA newswire reported.

THE VERDICT issued by the Supreme Court at the end of 2013, in which it upheld the previous decision of the Antitrust Office (PMÚ) to fine six construction firms for signing a cartel agreement, became valid on March 20. This means that the firms now have 30 days to pay a fine totalling €45 million, the SITA newswire reported.

The PMÚ fined the companies Doprastav, Strabag, Skanska, Inžinierske Stavby, Mota – Engil and Betamont in 2006 for forming a cartel when competing for a highway construction order in a public tender over the Mengusovce-Jánovce stretch of the cross-country D1 highway.

Portuguese firm Mota – Engil has to pay the most: up to €13.88 million. Strabag was fined €12.21 million, Skanska €8.98 million, Doprastav €6.57 million, Inžinierske Stavby €3.02 million and Betamont €131,150.

Head of Doprastav Dušan Mráz has already said they do not have enough money to pay the fine. Moreover, the company has asked the courts to accept its restructuring plan, which means they will not have to pay the whole amount, as reported by the Sme daily.

The other firms should have included the fine into their expenditures, Sme wrote.

In addition to the fine, the companies will be banned from attending public competitions. Head of the Public Procurement Office (ÚVO) Zita Táborská however has not specified when the ban will become effective and how long it will last, Sme wrote.

Source: SITA, Sme

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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