The CMA has issued 3 firms with fines totalling more than £36m for breaking competition law in supplying certain concrete drainage products for building projects.
Following an investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the Northern Ireland-based firm FP McCann Ltd is facing a fine of more than £25 million for its part in the scheme. Derbyshire-based Stanton Bonna Concrete Ltd and Somerset-based CPM Group Ltd are due to pay more than £7 million and £4 million respectively.
The fines have been imposed after the CMA discovered that the companies broke competition law by taking part in an illegal cartel covering Great Britain. From July 2006 to March 2013, they agreed to fix or coordinate their prices, shared the market by allocating customers and regularly exchanged competitively sensitive information. The CMA recorded meetings with senior executives in attendance and used them as evidence when arriving at a decision.
Last year, 2 of the 3 firms, Stanton Bonna Concrete Ltd and CPM Group Ltd, both accepted that they broke competition law by engaging in these arrangements. Accordingly, under the CMA’s provisions for leniency and settlement processes, they have received reductions to their fines.
Andrea Coscelli, the CMA’s chief executive, said: “These companies entered into illegal arrangements where they secretly shared out the market for important building products and agreed to keep prices artificially high. This is totally unacceptable as it cheats customers out of getting a good deal.”