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Neuchâtel Construction Investigation Expanded by ComCo

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 14 March 2024

ComCo widens its probe into Neuchâtel’s construction industry, now scrutinising 19 firms for alleged collusion in tenders dating back a decade.

Neuchâtel Construction Investigation Expanded by ComCo
Keystone/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT

The Swiss Federal Competition Commission (ComCo) is expanding an investigation into the building and civil engineering sector in the canton of Neuchâtel. 19 companies are now being targeted as opposed to the original three, according to a press release Thursday.

According to the ComCo, it is suspected that the companies coordinated their offers and prices for public and private sector procurements over several years. Potentially affecting around 100 tenders in civil engineering and building construction from the years 2013-2023. Searches have now been carried out again at several companies.

However, results are not expected soon. An investigation usually takes three years. The presumption of innocence applies to the companies named in the press release. They include well-known names such as Implenia, Marti and Facchinetti.

The case concerns possible bid-rigging agreements. Which is when companies agree among themselves on the price at which they want to bid and to whom they want to award a procurement contract.

According to the Competition Commission, bid-rigging agreements increase prices, makes companies inefficient and inhibits innovation. A burden on the economy and the public sector.

©Keystone/SDA

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