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​The Competition Council wins the last court proceedings concerning energy construction bid-rigging



Alongside with the last judgment adopted by the Supreme Court on 26 April, the series of court proceedings of the Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) regarding the energy construction bid-rigging, detected in 2013, where 26 companies deliberately distorted competition and made procurements more costly in the framework of more than 300 procurements, were completed with a favourable result. Fines totalling 2 862 187 euros were imposed on the involved companies.

For almost six years the CC had litigation with 22 out of 26 bid-rigging participants, who challenged the authority decision on distorted competition in 322 procurements of AS “Latvenergo”, AS “Sadales tīkls”, VAS “Latvijas Dzelzceļš” and other procurements. During the period from 2016 to 2011, these enterprises procured construction works and electric assembly works of electric facilities, for example, installation, repair and modernization of power lines, which were mainly implemented in Latgale and Vidzeme.

The prohibited bid-rigging agreement was implemented as follows – the tenderer, which was agreed as the procurement winner as a result of the prohibited agreement, sent to other tenderers already prepared cost estimates or indications on what prices they should propose, or sent own cost estimate, indicating that other tenderers should propose higher prices.

Considering the duration of this infringement and the caused harm both to the specific customers and their clients, the CC has imposed significant fines on the companies involved in this infringement.

Respectively, larger fines were imposed on companies, which participated in several procurements involving bid-rigging. Consequently, the largest fine in this case – 7.5% of turnover in the previous financial year – was imposed on the company SIA “Daugavpils Energoceltnieks”, and the company is obliged to pay it into the state budget according to the judgment of the Supreme Court. Other fined companies, except two companies that have been declared insolvent, have already paid their fines. The fine imposed on SIA “Aiviekstes Energobūvnieks” was fully recovered from its legal successor SIA “ENC Latvia”.

Fines for participation in bid-rigging were imposed in total on 26 companies: SIA “Austrumu Energoceltnieks” (SIA “Būvenergoserviss”), SIA “RIO”, SIA “Daugavpils Energoceltnieks”, SIA “SZMA”, SIA “Vidzemes Energoceltnieks”, SIA “Darleks”, SIA “ELPOLI”, SIA “ELBRA”, SIA “Latgales Elektromontāža”, Alūksnes rajona SIA firma “Alūksnes Energoceltnieks”, Rēzeknes pilsētas PMK SIA “Energoceltnieks”,  SIA “Farads”, SIA “Firma “Spriegums””, SIA “EMPOWER”, SIA “Aiviekstes Energobūvnieks”, SIA “DEMP”, SIA “Rīgas Energo Būve”; AS “SZMA V”, SIA “Latvijas Energoceltnieks”, SIA “OMS”, SIA “BESECKE”, SIA “TELMS”, SIA “INSTEL”, SIA “MCD”, SIA “J.E.F.”, SIA “Krāslavas Energoceltnieks”.