Industry hit with £130m fines after Office of Fair Trading finds 103 firms guilty of price rigging

Some of the biggest construction and maintenance firms in the country have been hit be multi-million pound fines following a five-year investigation into bid rigging by the Office of Fair Trading.

Over 100 firms were hit with fines of £130m after the OFT found them guilty of anti-competitive practices including bid-rigging and cover-pricing.

Kier suffered the largest fine of £17.9m. Other firms caught up in the investigation were Interserve, which was fined £11.6m, Balfour Beatty (£5.2m) and Galliford Try (£8.3m).

The OFT found six instances where firms had engaged in more serious anti-competitive behaviour, where successful bidders paid payments of between £2,500 and £60,000 to unsuccessful bidders.

Stephen Ratcliffe, director of UKCG, said the penalties were harsh but said contractors could no longer breach competition law.

He said: “Now the investigation is over, we must all move on and ensure that the companies who have been fined for past practices are not discriminated against in the future.”