Czech Competition Authority bans cartel participant from public tenders for the first time

04 October 2021

Following an own-initiative investigation, the Czech Office for the Protection of Competition found that logistics providers EXPRES VAN s.r.o. and Lorenc Logistic, s.r.o. coordinated their participation in the tender for public contracts of the Railway Administration for the transport of commercial packages between 2014 and 2018. The aim of their conduct was for the contracts to be awarded to EXPRES VAN s.r.o. The coordinated bids were submitted to the Railway Administration.

The Office concluded that the cartel participants had acted with the aim of distorting competition in the above tenders, and had indeed achieved this result. The unlawful conduct took place between 27 August 2014 and 29 August 2016.

EXPRES VAN s.r.o. was fined CZK 754,000 for the offence committed and was banned from participating in public procurement for a period of two years from the decision acquiring legal force. This was the first case in which the Office imposed such a sanction.

Lorenc Logistic, s.r.o. agreed to a settlement with the Office. As a result, the Office reduced the fine by 20% to CZK 2,100,000 and refrained from imposing a ban on the performance of public contracts.