Five fit-out firms fined £7m for bid rigging

Aaron Morby 6 months ago
Share

Five south east fit-out contractors have been fined a total of £7m after admitting being involved in cover pricing.

Contractors Fourfront, Loop, Coriolis, ThirdWay and Oakley agreed to pay fines  after admitting being involved in cartel behaviour, following an investigation by the  Competition and Markets Authority

Each firm admitted to breaking competition law at least once during the period of 2006 – 2017, in some cases on multiple occasions.

They admitted to participating in “cover bidding” in competitive tenders, agreeing with each other to place bids deliberately intended to lose the contract, thereby reducing the intensity of competition.

These cover bids affected 14 contracts with a variety of customers, ranging from a City law firm to a further education college.

Cover pricing fines

  • Fourfront – trading as Area Sq and Cube Interior solutions – fined £4,143,304
  • Loop Interiors fined £1,090,816
  • Coriolis Projects fined £7,735
  • ThirdWay Interiors fined £1,780,703
  • Oakley Interiors fined £58,558

The level of individual fines reflect companies’ size and financial position, and their role in the cartel behaviour.

The investigation was triggered when Jones Lang LaSalle, which acquired Bluu Solutions and Bluuco in 2015, uncovered a dozen instances of concern and brought information to the CMA.

Andrea Coscelli, the CMA’s chief executive, said: “The CMA is concerned it is seeing a lot of evidence of anti-competitive conduct in the construction industry, and we have already taken a number of cases in this sector.

“Today’s fines reinforce the message that the CMA will not tolerate competition law being broken.

“As shown by the total of £7m in fines agreed today, we will not turn a blind eye to illegal behaviour and we will impose penalties where we find laws have been broken. This can include seeking disqualification of company directors.”

Any business found to have infringed the Competition Act 1998 can be fined up to 10% of its annual worldwide group turnover, and directors of the companies concerned can be banned from holding directorships for up to 15 years.

Latest news

M&E specialist “vanishes” from Willmott Dixon hotel job

Holmes Metrotech leaves subcontractors with unpaid bills
11 hours ago

Seddon suffers £3.4m construction loss

North West builder latest to be hit by challenging market
11 hours ago

Liverpool FC raises ambition for new Anfield stand

Plan ditched for 4,000-seat added capacity Anfield Road stand in favour of more ambitious scheme
10 hours ago

Worker killed on £40m shopping centre site

Tragedy at Glasgow McAlpine site
10 hours ago

Portsmouth sounds out industry for £1.3bn scheme

44ha Tipner Peninsula scheme will create a 4,000-home waterfront community
11 hours ago

Architects stop hiring as market jitters bite

RIBA research highlights "quiet and challenging" market
10 hours ago

Altrad scaffolders set to strike at Drax power station

Workers vote for stoppages over pay and conditions dispute
11 hours ago

BAM UK profits slide in first half of 2019

Margin squeezed to 1.8% from 2.8% a year ago
1 day ago

Boost your online presence – join the Enquirer Directory

Site for suppliers and buyers showcases products, services and latest stories
1 year ago

Birmingham seeks highways firm to step in for Amey

Temporary stand-in highways contractor to deliver £85m work programme to July 2021
1 day ago

HS2 review to decide if construction should continue

Decision on future of project due this autumn
2 days ago

Structure Tone lands £60m office revamp for ad giant WPP

Extensive upgrade of Southwark office includes recladding and extensions
1 day ago

Barrett Steel buys Parker site from administrators

Shoreham deal saves 50 jobs and expands Barrett's network to 50 locations
1 day ago

First modular council homes in Cardiff approved

Wates Living to deliver homes as part of a 600 council homes partnership
2 days ago

Miller on course for 4,000 homes by 2021

House builder to open Teesside office, 18 months after setting up in the West Midlands
2 days ago

Willmott Dixon wins £14m Brighton Met college job

New college for digital and creative industries to be built at Pelham Street site
2 days ago

Costain margin up to 4% despite fall in profits

Pre-tax profit more than halved after £10m roof repair bill for Diamond Synchrotron
2 days ago

Carey Group CEO steps down

Denis Deacy's role to be taken on by Tommy Carey and Jason Carey
2 days ago

Private equity firm buys cladding specialist

EAG plans to expand its pre-construction team to bid for more work
2 days ago

£700m funding bid for 16 northern road projects

Transport for North calls on Chancellor to back ready-to-go schemes
3 days ago

First JCB electric mini diggers start arriving on site

Willow Hire and Lynch take first zero emission excavators
3 days ago

Graham to start Liverpool flyovers demolition next month

Complex dismantling of Churchill Way flyovers to cost nearly £7m
3 days ago

Private equity firm snaps up roofing supplier Marley

Belgian materials giant Etex sells Staffordshire-based roofing specialist employing 600 staff
3 days ago

Jacobs to buy John Wood nuclear arm for £250m

More than 2,000 staff to transfer to Jacobs in major UK nuclear take-over
3 days ago

Creditors blast Britain’s oldest building company

Firms owed cash demand answers after Durtnell strikes debt repayment deal with some suppliers
3 days ago

Persimmon calls in independent site quality enforcers

New construction quality checkers will vet trade contractor delivery independent from site management teams
3 days ago

Crossrail enters its “most challenging phase”

Contractor productivity a "main area of programme risk and uncertainty."
3 days ago

Shaylor collapse hits trade contractors for £19m

Directors Stephen and Ritchie Shaylor listed among major creditors
4 days ago

City planners tighten rules to avoid tower downdraughts

Skyscrapers will now be designed with pedestrian and cyclist safety in mind
3 days ago

Failed piling firm Aspin auctions off plant fleet

More than 600 pieces of kit expected to raise over £2m
3 days ago

Contractor services