The Commission for protection of competition has addressed allegations for cartel agreement between “Total El Si” EOOD and “Nai 2015” EOOD for manipulating numerous public procurement procedures

21 11 2022

By Statement № 914/17.11.2022, issued in case № CPC/509/2022, on the grounds  of art. 74, para. 1, item 3 of the LPC, the Commission has addressed allegations for committed infringement of art. 15 of the LPC, art. 1, manifested in a prohibited agreement for manipulating numerous public procurement procedures conducted by different contracting authorities in Bulgaria. The addressees of the Statement are “Total El Si” EOOD and “Nai 2015” EOOD, as well as two natural persons who have provided assistance to the infringement.

The proceedings before the CPC have been initiated ex officio upon a signal filed by the Municipality of Gabrovo, containing information and evidence of anti-competitive behavior of “Total El Si” EOOD and “Nai 2015” EOOD during a public procurement procedure.

The Commission has gathered and analysed in detail information about the participation of the addressees in 18 public procurement procedures.

Based on the evidence collected, the Commission considers that the addressees of the Statement of Objections № 914/17.11.2022 participated in a cartel having as object prevention, restriction or distortion of competition in the markets for trade of flowers, ornamental plants and planting materials, as well as the market for the services of shaping and maintaining green areas.

Within 30 days, the addressees of the Statement have the right to submit written objections to the allegations submitted. The time limit shall begin from the day of receipt.

The Commission highly appreciates the vigilance of the contracting authorities in conducting public procurement procedures and submitting notifications in case of suspicions of anti-competitive behavior of the participants. This is of prime importance for the fight against bid rigging.