US$ 5.9 billion cartel

15 April 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 (US$ 5.9 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.

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.

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