Judgment on bid-rigging case was handed down at 4pm this afternoon

The judgment handed down this afternoon by Mr. Justice Barling, sitting in the Competition Appeal Tribunal, reduced the total penalties imposed by the OFT against six construction companies in September 2009 by 90%.

The greatest total fall was in relation to Kier, which saw its total penalty fall from £17,894,438 to £1,700,000.

In its evidence to the CAT, the company claimed that the fine would have been greater than total profit after tax in the financial year to 30 June 2009, which stood at £16.9m.

The tribunal also heard a witness statement from John Dodds, former chief executive of Kier Group, who, according to the judgment “described how, within days of being informed of the alleged infringement, Kier implemented at the highest level within the company a comprehensive compliance programme, with memoranda being sent to all 91 directors of the various Kier boards and a letter explaining the compliance programme being sent to all 6,000 staff.”

The judgment went onto say: “The reasons for a discount are obvious: it serves as an inducement to infringers to take appropriate steps to avoid infringing in the future, and reflects the mitigating circumstance that the infringer intends not to do so.”

The full list of decisions is:

  • Kier Group plc and Kier Regional Limited: £17,894,438 reduced to £1,700,000.
  • Ballast Nedam N.V.: £8,333,116 reduced to £534,375.
  • Bowmer and Kirkland Limited, B&K Property Services Limited: £7,574,736 reduced to £1,524,000.
  • Corringway Conclusions plc: £769,592 reduced to £119,344.
  • Thomas Vale Holdings Limited and Thomas Vale Construction Limited: £1,020,473 reduced to £171,000.
  • John Sisk & Son Limited and Sicon Limited: £6,191,627 reduced to £356,250.

The full judgment can be found here