This was the highest fine in the history of the Austrian federal competition authority (BWB), said a spokesperson for the authority to the APA on Thursday. Porr has already acknowledged its liability.
In settlement talks with the BWB, Porr issued a statement committing itself to pay the fine of 62.35 million euros for holding consultations in the building sector, said the competition authority.
Until now, the most spectacular antitrust case ever to occupy the domestic competition watchdog ended with a record fine in 2007. The five elevator and escalator manufacturers Otis, Kone, Schindler, Haushahn, and Doppelmayr were fined a total of 75.4 million euros for years of secret agreements, the Vienna Higher Regional Court. This was by far the highest fine ever imposed in Austria for competition violations. After an appeal, the fine ended up at 34.7 million euros for Schindler and its subsidiaries.
The Porr case began investigations
In early 2017, the BWB ordered house raids at the company’s property as part of an investigation over possible illegal price-fixing and confiscated considerable amounts of data.
In autumn 2019, the BWB issued the first notifications to the affected companies. This was a formal step to inform the companies. “There are investigations against many other companies, which will soon lead to further action”, said the BWB.
Reported in cooperation with the Austrian Press Agency / APA.