Press release 12/2021
AdC issues Statement of Objection to seven companies for taking part in a cartel in public tenders
The AdC issued a Statement of Objections to the companies 2045/Gália, Comansegur, Grupo 8, Prestibel, Prosegur, Securitas and Strong Charon for bid-rigging in public tenders for the provision of surveillance and security services throughout the country, since, at least, 2009.
The AdC's Statement of Objections considers that there is a reasonable probability that these companies will be sanctioned for price fixing and allocating customers in the abovementioned public procurement procedures.
The case was opened by the AdC following several complaints made within the scope of the Combat Bid-Rigging Campaign, which the AdC has been carrying out since 2016, with contracting authorities and entities with the function of supervising and monitoring public procurement tenders.
The companies in question hold a very significant position in the market for the provision of surveillance and security services in Portugal, representing about half of the supply in this market.
As part of the investigation, the AdC carried out, in October and November 2019, unannounced inspections in the premises of five targeted companies located in the district of Lisbon.
The Statement of Objections was adopted on July 16, 2021.
Since the issuing of the Statement of Objections the process is no longer under the secrecy of justice, and is now public, pursuant to article 31 of the Competition Law.
The AdC indicates that the adoption of a Statement of Objections does not determine the final outcome of the investigation. At this stage of the investigation, companies, which enjoy the presumption of innocence, are given the opportunity to exercise their right to be heard and to defend themselves in relation to the alleged infringement, the evidence gathered and the sanction or sanctions they may incur.
The Competition Law expressly prohibits cartels, as agreements between companies that restrict, by object and in an appreciable manner, competition in all or part of the national market.
The combat against cartels, including in the context of public procurement, continues to be a top priority for the AdC.July 19, 2021