Four fined in Hungarian rail cartel

By Chris Sleight23 June 2010

Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH), the Hungarian competition authority has imposed fines totalling HUF 7,18 billion (€ 25,6 million) against four construction companies accused of "hardcore cartel activity". The companies, plus a fifth that avoided a under leniency rules, are accused of bid rigging and setting up market sharing agreements in Hungary's railway maintenance sector in 2005 and 2005.

The companies being fined are Colas Zrt - HUF 1,5 billion (€ 5,3 billion), Mávépcell, part of the Swietelsky group - HUF 2,1 billion (€ 7,5 million), Máv MTM RT, a Hungarian company now in liquidation - HUF 178 million (€ 0,64 million) and Szentesi Vasútépitö, part of Strabag - HUF 3,4 billion (€ 12 million). The fifthe company alleged to be part of the cartel is Vasútépitök Kft, which has escaped a fine by informing GVH of the competition law infringements.

The fines follow raids carried out in November 2007 on a total of 17 construction companies, however GVH found no evidence against 12 of these. The authority says the contracts affected by the cartel had a total value of HUF 24 billion (€ 86 million), and covered five tenders issued by the Hungarian government in 2004 and 2005.

GVH says members of the cartel manipulated their bids so pre-agreed companies would win specific contracts. As part of the agreement, other companies in the group were allocated work as sub-contractors or allowed to win other contracts.

The companies named in the judgement have not commented or indicated whether they will appeal GVH's decision.

Latest News
Palfinger crawler crane chosen for power plant lift
Crane on site for lift at pumped storage power plant in Bergheim, Austria
Wheeled mobile crane installs 8.5MW wind turbine
First job for China’s 2,600 tonne capacity all terrain crane built by XCMG