€ 4,4 billion UK construction cartel

25 March 2008

The Uk's office of Fair Trading (OFT) has uncovered bid rigging cartels involving 57 construction companies working on “thousands of tenders” worth a total of UK£ 3 billion (€ 4,4 billion).

The OFT's statement comes after a two-year investigation into the construction industry in England, focussing particularly on the Yorkshire and Humberside areas in the North of England, and the East Midlands. The sectors investigated include house building and commercial and industrial construction. It has not encompassed the civil engineering and infrastructure construction, repair and maintenance sub-industries.

It says it uncovered evidence of bid-rigging practices such as ‘cover pricing', whereby unrealistically high bids are put in to give the impression of competition. There is also evidence of companies paying competitors compensation payments in exchange for putting in a cover bid.

The OFT has the power to fine companies found to be a member of a cartel up to 10% of its annual worldwide turnover. Of the 57 companies investigated, 37 have applied for reduced fines under the OFT's leniency programme. The OFT says that in view of the quantity and quality of evidence gathered to date, the leniency programme is now closed to the remaining 20 companies under investigation.

However, the OFT says companies that come forward with information outside the scope of its current investigation may still apply for leniency. These could include companies in construction-related industries or in the civil engineering sector.

Latest News
Pramac Generac hosts rental customers
New prodcts shown to customers at Pramac’s Murcia facility in Spain
Bobcat reveals three new loader concepts
Bobcat revealed three new loader concepts at its Demo Days event held in Prague, Czech Republic
Createmaster introduces solution for digital handover and contractor compliance
The Gateway 3 dashboard gives contractors and developers real-time visibility to manage their building information deliverables in one place