More fines in demolition cartel proceedings
The Court of Roskilde has fined Kingo Karlsen A/S DKK 4 million and ordered one of the company’s executives to pay a personal fine of DKK 125,000. The case is one among a number of cases involving a demolition cartel, in which companies and their executives have been charged with breaches of the competition rules.
The judgment of 4 April 2019
By senior intern Martin Lars Mols Jensen
The cases in brief
The judgment by the Court of Roskilde follows a number of other decisions in the demolition cartel cases. The cartel was revealed in connection with the competition authorities’ investigations in the autumn of 2015. The authorities found that companies in the demolition industry had engaged in bid rigging and illegal exchange of prices in the period from May 2011 to October 2013. Judgments have already been delivered in some of the other cases; in October 2018, in December 2018 and in January 2019 (including in an appeal against the October 2018 decision) and, most recently, in March 2019.
The judgment by the Court of Roskilde
According to the witnesses, the parties engaged in so-called “price lending” practices, whereby Kingo Karlsen “borrowed” prices from its competitors for subsequent use if the company was pressed for time, or if it did not in reality want to be awarded a contract, but still wanted to tender (in order to be invited next time).
The Court found - in keeping with the previous decisions in the cases - that this practice amounted to a breach of the competition rules. In these circumstances, Kingo Karlsen A/S was found guilty of four incidents in the period from March 2012 to March 2013, where the company had illegally exchanged price details with its competitors when bidding for demolition contracts.
The fine was assessed, having regard to the number and duration of the breaches and the total group revenue. It was also taken into account that the higher fine levels entered into force on 1 March 2013, and that only one of the breaches had therefore been committed after the increase of fine levels.
Read the Competition and Consumer Authority’s press release here.
Read about the first decision in the demolition cartel cases from October 2018.
Read about other decisions in the demolition cartel cases from December 2018 and January 2019.
Read about the latest decision from March 2019.