18 December 2007: Anticompetitive agreement in the sector of aerial navigation


The Conseil de la concurrence fines 5 companies to €3.3 million for making an agreement
during several public procurement calls for tender

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Following a referral by the Minister of economy concerning anticompetitive agreement practices implemented during calls for tender organised by STNA (technical service for aerial navigation), the Conseil de la concurrence issues its decision today, condemning the companies concerned (or their new owners) to pay €3.3 million fine:

· Thales Security System (formerly Thomson CSF Inexel) : €610, 000;
· Ineo SA (formerly L’Entreprise industrielle, Coris and SEEE) : €2 million ;
· Spie SA (formerly Spie Trindel) : €470, 000 ;
· Eurelec Midi-Pyrénées (formerly EPI): €90, 000 ;
· Graniou Azur : €160, 000;

The companies SAS Thales Services Industrie (formerly Thomson CSF Services Industrie) and SAF, which also participated in certain cartels, have not been penalized for lack of turnover.

In total, six public markets have been affected by the cartels
Prior to the offer deposit, the companies concerned exchanged between them, information on technical data, the costs, their business strategy and the prices they intended to propose on one or several building markets for aerial navigation systems (building of satellites and a radio relay, equipping a temporary control room at Montpellier airport and Champcueil reception centre, and renovating Etampes broadcasting centre).

Serious practices
These practices prevented the contracting authority from using the free play of competition in a sector where the companies, which are able to use high technology equipment and services are so few.
Moreover the practices were implemented by renowned companies, of both national and international size, which are used to bidding for public procurement contracts and consequently cannot ignore the scope of their action.

> Decision 07-D-47 of 18 December, relative to practices implemented in the sector of aerial navigation

> See decision of the Paris Court of Appeal (14th January 2009)

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