NCC mulls appeal of price-fixing verdict

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Large construction firm NCC was evaluating an appeal after an Oslo City Court reduced a fine imposed by Norway’s competition authorities, but upheld their citation for entering into collusion with rival firm Veidekke on various roadbuilding projects.

Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) had initially reported the alleged collusion between NCC and Veidekke in January 2011, when a former district leader for Veidekke talked in detail on camera about how he and an NCC employee had cooperated on setting prices for asphalt. He had been in conflict with Veidekke and threatened to reveal the alleged price-fixing if he didn’t receive generous severance pay for four years.

Veidekke then reported the price-fixing itself and NCC was charged, getting hit with a fine of NRK 140 million. Veidekke was let off since it had reported the illegality.

The Oslo court cut the fine to NOK 40 million, but NCC is considering an appeal because only its former district leader knew about the price-fixing, and it didn’t otherwise involve any company management. NCC thus claims the price-fixing involved only a single disloyal employee, and that the company couldn’t have prevented the anti-competitive violations. staff