On 8 July 2016, the Competition Council (CC) of Latvia has fined three companies – SIA CO Sistēmas, SIA SAN B, and SIA Talsu spriegums – for rigging a public tenders. Companies were found to coordinate their tenders in five procurements of water infrastructure development services in regions of Talsi and Kuldīga. The CC imposed a fine in total of 163 002 EUR to all three companies.
Skaidrīte Ābrama, Chairwoman of the CC, said: “Collusive bidding by contractors still remains one of the most common competition infringements in Latvia. Already this year we have sent five warnings about a smaller scale and severity involvement in prohibited agreements to 17 companies. But in this case the agreements included public contracts worth about more than 4 million euro in total. Therefore this decision once again sends a strong message to the tenderers and procurement organizers that such anti-competitive and illegal practices must be ceased."
The CC initiated an investigation following the results obtained by the screening of public procurement documentation in Talsi local government. During the investigation, the CC found evidences on exchange of information, including cost estimates between 2011 and 2013 among all three tenderers.
Due to the infringement, the competition was distorted in procurements of water infrastructure development in five Latvian villages – Spāre, Strazde, Ēdole, Tiņģere, and Snēpele. In four of these procurements one of infringers was announced as a winner.
Considering the fact that all involved companies admitted their involvement into infringement and expressed their readiness to enter into a settlement, the CC applied a reduction of 10% in the fine. Accordingly, a fine of 39288.12 EUR has been imposed to SIA CO Sistēmas, 43485.69 EUR to SIA SAN B, and 80228.47 – to SIA Talsu spriegums.
For media inquiries
Mr Toms Noviks
Head of Communication Unit
Competition Council of Latvia
Phone +371 67365210