AdC accuses suppliers of extra-high voltage cables of anticompetitive agreement in public procurement procedures
Press release 29/2022
November 30, 2022
The Statement of Objections
The Portuguese Competition Authority (AdC) has issued a Statement of Objections for an agreement or concerted practice restricting competition through price fixing and market sharing in public procurement procedures launched by REN (the domestic electricity infrastructure manager) for the supply of cables for electricity transmission, involving the companies Cabelte - Cabos Eléctricos e Telefónicos, S.A, Quintas & Quintas - Condutores Eléctricos, S.A. and Solidal - Condutores Eléctricos S.A.
The Statement of Objections was adopted on November 28, 2022.
The AdC stresses that the issuing of a Statement of Objections does not determine the final outcome of the investigation. At this stage of the process, the companies concerned are given the opportunity to exercise their right to be heard and to defend themselves in relation to the alleged infringement and the sanction or sanctions they may incur.
Based on the evidence gathered, the AdC's Statement of Objections considers that there is a reasonable probability that these companies will be sanctioned for having coordinated among themselves the strategy and individual positioning to be adopted in the public procurement procedures launched by REN, at least between June 2015 and May 2020.
The agreement or concerted practice under investigation was aimed at fixing prices and sharing the market in relation to the tenders launched for the supply of cables for the transmission of electricity by REN throughout the national territory, with the aim of preventing, distorting or appreciably restricting competition.
The investigation was opened by the AdC on April 13, 2021.
Also in April 2021, the AdC carried out search and unannounced
inspections at the premises of the targeted companies.
The Competition Law expressly prohibits agreements between companies which, by their very nature, have a high potential for negative effects, reducing consumer welfare and damaging the competitiveness of companies and the economy as a whole.
The companies involved are Cabelte, Q&Q and Solidal, the latter holding 100% of the share capital of Q&Q. All of them are engaged, among other activities, in the production and commercialization of electrical conductors.
For additional information on the case, please see the case file.