Following inspections and an investigation report sent by the French Directorate-General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), the Autorité de la concurrence fines three companies a total of €174,000 for anticompetitive agreements relating to public tenders for the restoration of two churches in the Hauts-de-France region.
The companies exchanged information on prices prior to responding to the calls for tenders for the restoration of two churches
The companies Entreprise Lelu and Bernard Battais et fils, which are active in the renovation and restoration of roofs and frameworks on heritage buildings in the Hauts-de-France region, exchanged information on prices in the course of preparing and submitting responses to a call for tenders organised in 2013 by the town of Bonneuil-les-Eaux for the restoration of its church.
Furthermore, Bernard Battais et fils and the company ECR, also active in the sector in question, exchanged information on prices before responding to another call for tenders, organised in 2016 by the town of Oxelaëre for the restoration of its St. Martin’s church.
The practices negatively affected the budgets of local authorities
These exchanges of information took place before the date on which the outcome of the calls for tenders could be known and in circumstances which inevitably affected the responses of the companies. The practices contributed to distorting the competitive tendering process for the renovation of the churches, the costs of which are borne directly by the local authorities. In this case, the costs resulting from these contracts weighed more heavily on their budgets than they would have, had fair competition been effective.
In light of these facts, the Autorité de la concurrence imposed the following sanctions:
|Bernard Battais et fils (jointly and severally with Battais Invest)||€124,000|
|ECR (jointly and severally with Fijet)||€28,000|