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The Justice paralyzes the fine of the CNMC to FCC of 40 million

Date: March 24, 2023 Time: 02:58:47

The National Court has agreed to the precautionary suspension of the sanction filed during the month of July by the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) against FCC Construcción. The fine resulted in the payment of 40.4 million euros and the prohibition of contracting with the public administration, according to the sentence consulted by Europa Press.

This sanction was part of a global fine of 203.6 million euros filed against the main construction companies in the country, Acciona, Dragados (ACS), FCC, Ferrovial, OHLA and Sacyr, for allegedly having altered miles of public tenders for 25 years to the construction and civil works of infrastructures.

All the companies appealed the fine before the National Court and, together with FCC, also OHLA, Sacyr, Ferrovial and Acciona, in that order, have already obtained the precautionary measures, which means suspending the fines of 21.5, 16.7 and 38.5 million euros, respectively.

Unlike FCC, all the others will also acquire the precautionary measure of suspending the prohibition to contract filed by the regulator. In the case of this company, at least in this particular appeal, it did not request the suspension of this prohibition, so the court has not had to rule on this matter.

Now the heaviest sanction is pending resolution by the National Court, which fell on Dragados (ACS), with a fine that reached 57.1 million euros. In its letter, FCC Construcción claimed that its available treasury is only 18.6 million euros, so it would have to resort to external financing to pay this fine, with the consequences that this would have on the company’s progress.

In any case, it is a precautionary suspension that is also conditional on the company presenting a guarantee in the form of a bank guarantee or another similar one for the same amount of the fine, which ensures payment and thus compensation from the public treasury and the general interest in the event of a final ruling rejecting the appeal.

Other sanctions against construction companies

The CNMC revealed that, since 1992, these six companies have met weekly and decided on the public contracts in which they were going to share technical work on their offers. In addition, they exchanged information on their strategy for submitting to public tenders, including hospitals, ports, airports and highways.

Some of these companies, such as ACS, Ferrovial, OHLA or Acciona, have also already achieved other suspensions and annulments of another total sanction of 61 million euros, filed in August 2021, for being part of a cartel consisting of carrying out the tenders for road maintenance and operation services called by the Ministry of Public Works from 2014 and 2018.

Specifically, API, an ACS subsidiary fined 11.8 million, Alvac (5.8 million), Ferroser (Ferrovial, 5.7 million), Copasa (5.6 million), Elsamex (4 million), Innovia (3 .3 million), Aceinsa (3.2 million), Elsan (OHLA, 3 million), Acciona (2.3 million), Audeca (Elecnor, 2.6 million) and FCC (8.5 million) were sanctioned in this another procedure.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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