A decision by the European Court of Justice banning companies convicted of cartel practices from undertaking state contracts for at least three years has dealt a major blow to the local public works market.
The verdict makes it clear that the exclusion period will not begin from the date a company is found guilty but from the date of the decision’s publication. In the case of Greece’s most notorious construction cartel, that date is September 2017.
The court’s decision will seriously affect ongoing public works tenders, most of which have attracted bids from firms involved in the recent cartel case in Greece that have accepted to pay a fine to the Competition Commission; these include Aktor, J&P-Avax, Terna and Intrakat. If any companies not involved in the case raise objections to the above firms’ participation in public tenders, they are likely to achieve their immediate exclusion.
Apart from the three-year ban, the European court also dictates that after that period the companies found guilty of violating competition rules will only be able to enter public tenders if they have taken sufficient measures to avoid repeating such offenses.