Merko contested large fine imposed by Latvia in cartel case

Illustrative photo.Photo: Liis Treimann

The Estonian construction company Merko Ehitus has challenged in an administrative court a fine of 2.7 million euros, which the Latvian Competition Council had assigned to its subsidiary Merks for an alleged cartel conspiracy.

The firms Merks and Merko Ehitus appealed against the Competition Council’s decision in the Latvian administrative court on September 13, the construction concern said.

Merks considers the conclusions of the Competition Council regarding the commercial activities of the enterprise to be unfounded, both from a factual and a legal point of view.

The decision of the Competition Council adopted in August provides for the payment of a fine in the amount of 5.4% of SIA Merks’ revenues in 2020, that is, a total of 2,688,950.79 euros. According to the decision, Merko Ehitus, as a parent company, will be jointly and severally liable if Merks fails to fulfill its obligations.

As reported by “Delovye Vedomosti”, according to the Latvian Competition Council (SC), members of the so-called “construction cartel” participated in purchases totaling almost 700 million euros.

The entrepreneurs split into two groups, trying to distribute tenders so that the amounts were more or less the same. At the meetings, they also discussed the possible winner of the tender, the right to participate in the competition, or, conversely, refusal from it.

Ieva Šmite, Director of the Department of Investigation of Prohibited Agreements of the Investigative Committee, said that the cartel members participated in at least 70 purchases for a total of 686 989 991 euros.

Source: by

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