AdC confirms dawn raids in railway maintenance companies

Press release 11/2017
AdC confirms dawn raids in railway maintenance companies
The Portuguese Competition Authority (Autoridade da Concorrência – AdC) confirms that it carried out dawn raids in the last few days at 7 premises of 9 companies located in Lisbon and Oporto, following suspicions of anticompetitive practices relating to a cartel in the railway maintenance sector which may substantiate an infringement to the Competition Act.
The suspicions resulted from a complaint presented in the context of the “Fighting Collusion in Public Procurement” campaign that the AdC has been carrying out, since 2016, with contracting bodies and supervision entities.
Under the powers provided by the Competition Act, the AdC carried out the dawn raids in cooperation with the Department of Criminal Investigation and Prosecution.
Since the beginning of 2017, the AdC carried out dawn raids in 35 premises of 36 entities in the sectors of touristic river cruises, driving teaching, retail distribution and insurance.
Unannounced inspections are a means to obtain evidence of anticompetitive practices. However, the fact that they are carried out does not entail that the involved undertakings will be sanctioned, nor does it imply a judgment on whether the undertakings are guilty of an unlawful conduct in the market.
The AdC ordered the infringement proceeding to be subject to secrecy taking into account that the interest behind the investigation would not be duly safeguarded should the proceeding be made public.
The infringement of competition rules not only reduces consumer welfare, but also weakens the companies’ competitiveness, undermining the economy as a whole.
  25 July 2017