The National Market and Competition Commission (CNMC) has imposed 5.87 million euros in fines to 22 consultants by the establishment of cartels. “The companies exchanged sensitive commercial information and used common strategies to avoid competing when they participated in tenders to offer consulting services requested by different Public Administrations,” explains the body led by Cani Fernández.
The CNMC has analyzed up to 200 public contracts concluded between 2008 and 2018 in what, it detects, they have supposed two networks of collaboration, a north and another one in the national scope. The administrations sprinkled include the Ministry of tax authorities, from Job, Economy, the Generalitat Valencian, the Community ofMadrid, the Junta de Andalucía, the Generalitat of Catalonia, the Basque government, that of Cantabria, the Extremadura joint, the Balearic Government, that of Canary Islands, the Junta de Castillaand Leon, the Bilbao City Council or Santander City Council.
The CNMC reports that personal and professional trust relationships Some of the managers, who had sometimes been co-workers, facilitated the operation of these networks. “Among them, mutual assistance and collaboration were requested to manipulate public contracts launched by the different administrations affected; it was enough to send an e-mail by one of the companies in the network, which was accepted without further explanation by the recipients “, underlines the CNMC.
They were, explains the agency, contracts negotiated without advertising, generally, in which the administrations invited a small number of companies to present their competitive offers. One of the invited consultants contacted other companies that were also in the process and lis asked to submit a losing offer or to give up showing up. «Sometimes, even the consulting firm that requested the coverage prepared the offers of their supposed competitors or prepared the resignation letter to the invitation, “says the agency.
Through this system, on an ongoing basis, the CNMC indicates that “The prices paid by the administration for consulting services rose” and “the participation of non-cartel competitors was prevented.” «These behaviors had a full impact on the public treasury as they are contracts that are paid for via budgets, “the institution says.
Deloitte receives the highest penalty
Among the penalties, lDeloitte receives the greater, with 3.99 million euros, because the sanctions are imposed according to the billing of the firms; followed by PriceWaterHouseCoopers, with 670,000 euros, and Idom Consulting, with 640,000. Also included in the list of fines KPMG with 50,000 euros and firms such as Altia Consultores (30,000 euros), Bmasi Strategy (153,529 euros), Competitiveness, Development and Innovation (14,823 euros), Gestiona XXI Consulting (3,218 euros), Indra Business Consulting ( € 27,000) Red2Red Consultores (€ 30,000), Uliker-3 (€ 11,040), 97S & F (€ 131,593), Abay Economic Analysts (€ 12,499), Factor Ideas Integral Services (€ 20,000), Gaps Politica i Societat (€ 15,000), Hidria, Ciencia, Ambiente y Desarrollo (11,979 euros), Red2Red Consultores (25,000 euros) and Regio Plus Consulting (33,744 euros). Up to thirteen executives of these firms also receive penalties of up to 55,000 euros.