The Danish competition authority, Konkurrence- og Forbrugerstyrelsen, has issued a record fine to the construction company Elindco Byggefirma for price-fixing in connection with private and public building projects. The 10 million kroner fine is the biggest in Danish history for a cartel case.
Morten Niels Jakobsen, the head of the state attorney’s department for special economic and international crime (SØIK), said in a press release that the case was a landmark. “I’m very satisfied that we have taken another important step in ending and investigating illegal price-fixing in the building trade,” he said.
“We have now to date issued fines for 40 million kroner.”
Agnete Gersing, the head of the competition authority, said that the level of the fine was warranted by the severity of the case.
“The size of the fine reflects the seriousness of the case,” she said.
"The company has been involved in cheating on prices in 12 different large building projects.”
She went on to say that the penalty was severe in order to act as a deterrent to others in the future.
“The case puts a thick line under how serious the consequences can be for companies that agree prices with competitors,” she said.
“It will hopefully deter potential cartel-formers that they risk both fines and bigger fines.”
Employee also fined
Elindco was found to have broken competition laws during the period from 2007 to 2009.
As well as the company fine, an employee was fined 25,000 kroner for his role in the affair.
In July, the building contractor NH Hansen & Søn received a fine of 2.2 million kroner in a similar case.