AdC sanctions an undertaking and its manager for anticompetitive practices in the sector of railway maintenance services

Press Release 05/2019
AdC sanctions an undertaking and its manager for anticompetitive practices in the sector of railway maintenance services
The AdC imposed fines totalling 906.485,58 euros on Mota-Engil – Engenharia e Construção, S.A., and one of its managers, for participating in a horizontal agreement (cartel), in the form of price fixing and market sharing, in the sector of railway maintenance services.
Five railway maintenance providers colluded to present bids above the base-price in a tender launched by Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP).
In a separate tender proceeding, the same companies had colluded to share between themselves the different lots in contest, in a cartel arrangement in existence during 2014 and 2015.
The earlier conclusion of the proceedings against Mota-Engil – Engenharia e Construção, S.A. and its manager was possible due to the cooperation provided by this undertaking, which confessed its participation in the cartel and abstained from litigating, under a settlement procedure.
The use of this instrument is essential, to hasten and simplify the proceedings whilst still sanctioning the enterprises that infringe the rules of competition.

Under the settlement procedure, the parties that confess to the facts and accept their share of responsibility in the infringement at issue, benefit from a reduction of the applicable fine.

The AdC had already adopted, in December 2018, a prohibition decision, under the settlement procedure, with regard to one of the companies involved in the infringements and its manager, imposing total fines of 365.400,00 euros.

The investigation is still on-going regarding the remaining three undertakings and their Board members and managers, in relation to whom a statement of objections was adopted by the AdC on 13 September 2018.

The fight against cartels remains a top priority for the AdC, taking into account the losses that they invariably cause to citizens and to businesses, subjecting them to higher prices and reduced quality and variety of goods and services.

The infringement of competition rules not only reduces consumer welfare, but also weakens the competitiveness of companies, undermining the economy as a whole.
This investigation was opened by the AdC in October 2016, following a complaint submitted within the context of the Fighting Bid-Rigging Campaign launched by the AdC in June 2016 addressed to public procurement entities.
12 April 2019