SOME of Spain’s biggest construction companies have been fined €204 million for collusion over public contracts.
Spain’s antitrust regulator said the six firms had illegally shared information on bids for public projects over a period of 25 years.
These were often for major infrastructure projects such as roads and airports, but also affected bids at a smaller local level.
A spokesman for the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC) said that the companies will also be banned from working with public authorities.
The guilty companies are some of the biggest names in the country with the highest penalties handed to Dragados (fined €57.1 million), FCC Construccion (€40.4 million)s, and Ferrovial Construccion (€38.5 million).
The others are Acciona Construccion (€29.4 million), Obrasco Huarte Lain, (€21.5 million) and Sacyr Construccion (€16.7 million).
A spokesman for Dragados said the company disagreed with the decision and pledged to appeal it.
The regulator claimed that between 1992 and 2017, the companies met weekly to discuss which projects they were going to bid on.
The meeting would then devise a common strategy and share technical documents between them.
This, said the regulator, affected bidding on thousands of construction projects advertised by public authorities throughout Spain, with fewer competing bids submitted and competing companies being put at a disadvantage.
The regulator called their actions a ‘very serious infringement’ of Spanish and European competition laws which foster secret and independent bidding processes.
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