Construction firms fined for cartel practices

Construction firms fined for cartel practices

Aktor was hit on Thursday with a 38.5-million-euro fine – a record in Greece – and another nine construction companies were fined, for a total of 80.7 million euros, concluding the first stage of the infamous case of the “contractors’ cartel” which, for a period of 23 years, from 1989 to 2012, were found to have been rigging the tenders for a series of public works, including those co-funded by the European Union.

On Thursday the country’s Competition Commission issued the eagerly anticipated verdict for the domestic companies involved in the cartel practices, which have secured a 15 percent discount to their fines in return for admitting their guilt. The decision on the foreign constructors involved, which has already been reached, will also be released in late September or early October.

Besides Aktor’s record fine, hefty penalties were also imposed on Terna SA (18.6 million euros) and J&P Avax (18.3 million). Intrakat will have to pay 4.3 million. Another firm, Technical Olympic, played a key role, but was relieved of any fines for its role in revealing details about the cartel.

Although violations were found to have occurred in 1989-2000, 2001-2002 and 2005-2012, the fines were only imposed for those committed between 2005 and 2012, as the previous periods are covered by the watchdog’s status of limitations. Therefore, Kathimerini understands that while 34 violations were identified, fines were only imposed for 11 of them.

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