Construction cartel fined millions by Spanish competitions regulator

Construction cartel fined millions by Spanish competitions regulator. image: Wikimedia

Construction cartel fined millions by Spanish competitions regulator.

The Spanish independent competition regulator *(CNMC)  has induced heavy fines to 12 construction companies for a total of 61.3 million euros for forming a cartel in order to alter bids for road maintenance and operation services, according to a report from ABC.

Among the sanctioned companies are subsidiaries of ACS, Acciona, Sacyr, OHL, Ferrovial, among others. The fines, despite the amount, are not actually the largest fine imposed by the body currently chaired by Cani Fernández, which in recent years has dismantled several cartels.

The sector that has received the highest fine in history by the market regulator was the automotive sector. Specifically, in 2015, the regulator fined 21 automotive companies 171 million euros, which accounted for 91% of the sector’s distribution in Spain.

According to the CNMC, these companies had formed a cartel in which they carried out a “systematic exchange of commercially sensitive confidential information, both current and future and highly disaggregated, which covered practically all the activities carried out” by these companies.

Some of the companies that have been sanctioned today were also sanctioned back in 2019 when the CNMC fined 15 companies for distributing Adif contracts valued at more than 1,000 million.

The companies involved were Elecnor, Siemens, Alstom, Indra, Isolux, four subsidiaries of ACS (Cobra, Cymi, Semi and Electrén), one subsidiary of OHL (Eym), another of Sacyr (Neopul) and one of Abengoa (Inabensa), which formed three cartels in the AVE and conventional train tenders to share the market for fourteen years.

In 2019, the CNMC also dismantled a cartel of 19 industrial assembly companies, such as Duro Felguera, ACSA and Atrian, for which it fined 54.5 million euros. This cartel was created to make the services provided more expensive, mainly to companies in the energy and petrochemical sectors. 

Earlier, in 2017, it also fined eleven companies and a business association that manufacture and distribute electrical cables 44 million euros for fixing prices and dividing up projects.

*The Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia, abbreviated as CNMC, is a Spanish independent competition regulator responsible for enforcing competition law.


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Ron Howells

Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!. Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.


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