MURMANSK OFAS FORMED A NEW PRACTICE OF EXPOSING AND PROVING BID-RIGGING COLLUSIONS
Murmansk OFAS exposed an anticompetitive agreement that used auction robots. The violation results in maintaining prices at 25 electronic auctions for the services on removing solid household and medical waste
Reducing the initial (maximum) contract price for a minimum, legal entities, in the absence of other auction bidders, refused to compete with each other, which led to concluding contracts with the minimum price reduction. When other companies began to bid, the defendants changed their behaviour and competed with other companies to make sure that their competitors would not win.
In the course of the case investigation, OFAS for the first time analyzed how the bidders had used auction robots. The new approach helped prove that the defendants had determined before electronic auctions who would be the winner and to what extent each of them would reduce the initial (maximum) contract price, which inferred an agreement reached by the collusion members.
The violator-companies and their top executives were held administratively liable and imposed fines.
FAS Presidium recognized it one of the best cases in the practice of exposing bid-rigging collusions in 2017. The new practice of case investigations will be extrapolated to all regional FAS Offices and will become another efficient tool against bid-rigging collusions.