The Competition Authority has petitioned that three companies within the care and treatment business are to be sentenced to pay a total of almost SEK 30 million in fines as they have colluded during a public procurement.
In 2008, in conjunction with the Stockholm County Council’s procurement for services within clinical physiology and clinical neurophysiology, the companies co-operated in a way that violates the competition rules. Aleris Diagnostik AB (Aleris), Capio S:t Görans Sjukhus AB (Capio) and Hjärtkärlgruppen i Sverige AB (Hjärtkärlgruppen) are now subject to a demand for fines totalling nearly SEK 30 million.
In the opinion of the Swedish Competition Authority, these companies participated in the prohibited co-operation prior to bid submission in that Aleris agreed with Capio and with Globen Heart AB and Medical Support i Stockholm Aktiebolag, that the parties, regardless of who won the contract, would share the contracted tasks (known as volume sharing). In addition the companies revealed to each other, and agreed upon, the tender items they would bid for (prohibited information exchange). Since 2010, the companies have shared the market in accordance with these agreements.
"This type of collusion, which is similar to a bidding cartel, is a serious infringement of the competition rules. The competition is eliminated, and the county council - the taxpayers - are cheated," says Dan Sjöblom, Director-General of the Swedish Competition Authority.
Competing suppliers are not permitted to divide the market. Co-operations of this type is contrary to the fundamental concept of competition, namely that companies should each act independently and determine their own business strategies.
In an application to the District Court of Stockholm, the Swedish Competition Authority petition that Aleris should be ordered to pay just under SEK 27 million, Capio more than SEK 1 million and Hjärtkärlgruppen just under SEK 2 million in fines.
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