French construction cartel fined

24 April 2008

The French Competition Authority - Le Conseil De La Concurrence - has handed down € 48,5 million of fines to 34 France-based construction companies accused of operating a cartel. According to the authority, the companies were involved in price fixing on at least 40 projects, worth a total of € 1 billion, in the Paris region between 1991 and 1997.

The investigation found that the companies met on a regularly to organise the complex division of work by geographical area, client and type of work. Le Conseil de la Concurrence's report said, “These are extremely serious practices. In setting up such agreements, the companies deliberately violated the rules of competition. Clients have been misled and could not benefit from open invitations to tender which would have enabled them to award contracts based on best price.”

Maximum penalties of 5% of annual sales have been imposed on three major contractors and their subsidiaries, which the authority believes were the ringleaders of the cartel. Other companies linked to the price fixing operation were given fines of between 1 and 4% of their annual turnover.

The largest fine of € 10,5 million was handed down to Bouygues, while Eiffage and Vinci, were fined € 6,4 million and € 2,4 million, respectively. Sanctions were also imposed on Soletanche Bachy (€ 5,6 million), Sade CGTH (€ 5,4 million), Guintoli (€ 4 million), Razel (€ 4 million), Bec Freres (€ 2,4 million), Demathieu et Bard (€ 2 million), Spie Batignolles (€ 1,6 million), Urbaine de Traveaux (€ 1,2 million), Nord France Eau et Environnement (€ 700000), Botte Fondations (€ 600000), Sefi Intrafor (€ 560000) and Valentine (€ 470000).

Latest News
Tech company updates software for surveying robots
The update introduces a Data Logging feature which provides users with additional capabilities
Wind turbines transported in Greece
Huge wind farm shipment unloaded at Greek port
Jekko appoints South African dealer
SkyJacks new dealer for Italian manufacturer