Swiss price-fixing construction cartels fined millions

Around 650 construction tenders in Graubünden between 2004 and 2010 were compromised. Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller

The Federal Competition Commission (Comco) has wrapped up its last two investigations into an illegal price-fixing cartel in the construction industry in the southeastern Swiss canton of Graubünden. The probes resulted in a CHF11 million ($11.1 million) fine.  

This content was published on September 3, 2019 - 15:42

The penalty handed down on Tuesday concerns investigations into agreements between 12 companies on inflated road construction costs, as well as how the tenders would be divided up among themselves. Civil engineering firms in the High Engadin region were also found to have colluded over different building sites for private and commercial buildings. 

Tuesday’s announcement marks the conclusion of a total of ten probes into a huge scam that involved purchase orders worth at least CHF190 million (around $192 million).  

Around 650 construction tenders in Graubünden between 2004 and 2010 were compromised and a total of 40 companies were involved in the price-fixing. The total amount of fines imposed by Comco is around CHF20-25 million.  

The scam was brought to Comco’s attention by a whistleblower who felt his complaints were not being taken seriously by the local authorities. 

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