TheNational Commission of Markets and Competition(CNMC) has initiated adisciplinary proceedings against 25 companiesof consulting services and several managers of the same when observing "rational indications" of possible anticompetitive practices consisting of a distribution of the national market of consulting services.
In a statement, the CNMC explains that the infringements committed by these companies would consist of agreements or concerted practices for themarket share of consulting servicesin several mainly public tenders, although they would also have affected some private ones, in a large part of the national territory.
Specifically, it details that the companies would have submitted fictitious offers to concur in a bidding process between 2009 and 2018.These infringements detected in the investigation are prohibitedby Article 1 of the Law on the Defense of Competition (LDC) and Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
Among the companies opened are Abay Analistas Económicos, Altia Consultores and its matrix Boxleo TIC, BmasiI Strategy, Competitiveness Development and Innovation, Community Policy Consultants, Deloitte Consulting and Deloitte Financial Advisory, as well as its parent Deloitte Financial Advisory, Gestiona XXI Consulting, and Gizarpro.
Idom Consulting, Engineering, Architecture and its parent company Idom, Indra Sistemas, Innovisions 21, Oesia Networks and its parent company Heisenberg 2014, Pa Consulting Services Limited, Branch in Spain and its parent Pa Consulting Services Limited, Pricewaterhousecoopers Business Advisors, Red2Red Consultores , Regio Plus Consulting, T-Systems ITC Iberia and its parent company T-Systems International GmbH, and 97S & F.
In addition, executives from the companies Bmasil Strategy, Deloitte Consulting, Idom Consulting, Engineering, Architecture, Innovisions 21, 97S & F, Pricewaterhousecoopers Business Advisors, Regio Plus Consulting and Red2Red Consultores have been initiated.
Inspections in October
The opening of the file to these 25 consultants takes place after the inspections carried out by the CNMC on 23, 24 and 25 October 2018 at the headquarters of the Deloitte Group, Idom, Pricewaterhousecoopers and Regio Plus Consulting companies.
The origin of these actions is in the remission by the Basque Competition Authority of the investigation carried out for a possible distribution ofconsultancy services contracts tenderedby the Autonomous Administration of the Basque Country and, in particular, of the information obtained in the inspections carried out by that authority on January 11 and 12, 2017 in the headquarters of several companies.
The CNMC reminds the parties of the "duty of confidentiality and confidentiality" to which they are bound in accordance with article 43 of Law 15/2007 on the Defense of Competition. This obligation of discretion is aimed at protecting the process of investigation and resolution of the disciplinary proceedings.
The organism remembers thatthe opening of this file does not prejudge the final resultof the investigation and informs that a maximum period of 18 months is now open for the investigation of the file and for its resolution by the CNMC.
On the other hand, it adds that it has the Clemency Program, which allows companies that are part of a cartel to benefit from the exemption from paying the fine, as long as they provide evidence to enable the CNMC to detect it, or of a reduction in the amount of the fine that could be imposed, if it provides information with significant added value, in relation to an investigation already started.