The National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC) has initiated a disciplinary action against Acciona, Corsán-Corviam, Dragados (ACS), FCC, Ferrovial, OHL and Sacyr for allegedly rigging their participation in public tenders for the construction and rehabilitation of infrastructures and buildings.
As reported by the regulatory body today, anti-competitive practices would consist of agreements and exchanges of information between these companies in order to restrict competition in bids called by different public administrations in Spain.
These agreements and exchanges would have had a special impact on the preparation of their technical offers for such bids and would have been implemented, among other ways, through the constitution of "a stable and formal group" by the aforementioned companies.
In this way, they decided with "weekly character"if they contracted jointly the different aspects that included the technical offer of the bids that were going public." The case has its origin in documentation found during the investigation of another file and that had no relation to the case that was being investigated.
In June 2017, the CNMC informed that it was investigating possible anti-competitive practices in the markets for the construction and rehabilitation of infrastructures and buildings consisting of market sharing through the setting of commercial conditions or the exchange of sensitive commercial information.
According to the same source, after this finding, the Competition Directorate of the CNMC proceeded to incorporate the documentation in a different file and carried out home inspections in four of the companies opened.
In view of the information available and the documentation gathered in the framework of the aforementioned inspections, the CNMC considers that there are "rational indications" of the commission by Acciona Construction, Corsán-Corviam, Dragados, FCC Construcción, Ferrovial Agromán, Obrascón Huarte Lain, and Sacyr Construcción, of possible infringements of competition regulations
In a statement, the agency recalls that the initiation of a file does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation and that it now has a maximum of 18 months for its instruction and resolution. The CNMC adds that the investigation of the cartels is one of its priorities for action due to the special seriousness of its consequences on consumers and the proper functioning of the markets.
To this end, it has, among other instruments, the leniency program, which allows companies that are part of a cartel to benefit from the exemption from the payment of the fine, provided they provide evidence to enable their detection.