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

​Press Release 20/2018
AdC sanctions an undertaking and its manager for anticompetitive practices in the sector of railway maintenance services.
The AdC imposed fines totalling 365,400 euros on Sacyr Neopul S.A., and its production manager, for participating in a horizontal agreement (cartel) that resulted in price increases in a public tender for railway maintenance services.
Five railway maintenance providers colluded to present bids above the base-price in a tender launched by Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP), leading to an increase in the price paid by this public enterprise for maintenance services on its railroad infrastructure.
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.
In causing financial harm to a public enterprise, the cartel members harmed, in equal measure, Portuguese taxpayers.
The earlier conclusion of the proceedings against Sacyr Neopul, S.A. and its production 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 investigation is still on-going regarding the remaining four 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.
 21 December 2018