Reduction of 64% of recruiter fines will stand

The OFT has decided not to appeal the Competition Appeal Tribunal’s decision to reduce fines imposed on six construction sector recruitment agencies for price fixing by 64%.

The £39m fine levied on the six agencies - including Hays, CDI and Eden Brown - was reduced to less than £14m last month after the tribunal ruled the penalties were disproportionate.

In its ruling last month the tribunal said the OFT had taken a “mechanistic and artificially narrow formula” in determining the fines on the recruiters and should have based the calculations on the proportion of net fees rather than gross turnover.

The OFT has until tomorrow to decide whether it intends to appeal the reduction on penalties imposed on contractors by CAT, with some fines reduced by up to 94%.

An OFT spokesperson said: The OFT has decided not to appeal the judgment of the Competition Appeal Tribunal in the Construction Recruitment Forum case.

“We note that the judgment was only about the level of penalties for three companies and that the Tribunal upheld our view of the nature of the infringements, stating that this was “a very serious violation of competition law.”