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Switzerland: Regulator uncovers construction cartel

 |  March 25, 2018

Swiss newspaper NZZ am Sonntag reported that the Swiss Competition Commission (COMCO) found evidence of a construction price fixing cartel that has allegedly overcharged municipal projects.

The belief is that the cartel includes hundreds of companies of all sizes and has even implicated politicians in canton Graubünden in southeastern Switzerland.

Specific projects being investigated include plans to renovate a rail tunnel and a hospital expansion which may have been overcharged 20%. The COMCO has been investigating since 2012 and is due to deliver a final report in a few weeks.

“The investigation into price fixing in canton Graubünden is one of the largest we have worked on,” COMCO vice-director Frank Stüssi told the newspaper. It is thought that construction companies met up to discuss lists of projects that would be shared out for inflated prices.

A whistleblower went to COMCO because he felt his complaints were not being taken seriously by the local authorities.

A guilty verdict brings the possibility of fines totaling millions of francs, which could threaten the existence of some smaller companies, according to industry experts.

Full Content: Swiss Info

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