Companies that co-operated with OFT inquiry may be treated leniently, suggest reports

Construction firms investigated during the bid-rigging inquiry by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) are likely to face much lower fines than originally mooted 18 months ago, according to reports.

An article in the Times newspaper suggests that companies will receive lenient treatment after co-operating with the competition watchdog in its investigation into cover pricing.

Next month, the OFT is set to reveal the sanctions it is to take against 112 firms found guilty last April of breaches of competition law.

Cover pricing is a practice whereby a potential bidder for work agrees with the client to tender an inflated bid without any intention of trying to win the work, in order to satisfy client requirements for a certain amount of competition.