French cartel fined €31m

Some of France’s biggest companies were found to have colluded over pricing for decommissioning work at the Marcoule nuclear power station near Avignon.

The Autorité de la Concurrence, the independent competition regulator in France, has imposed penalties totalling €31,239,000 on Vinci-subsidiary Nuvia Process, Endel (a former Engie subsidiary), Bouygues Construction Expertises, Snef and Spie Nucléaire.

A sixth company Onet Technologies ND, was also involved but escaped a financial penalty for cooperating with the investigation, supply documents that prompted dawn raids on the other companies.

The six companies had a framework agreement with the Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives (CEA) – the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission – within which they were supposed to compete for work. Instead they agreed among themselves who would do take on which contracts, with the others submitting cover prices in their bid, knowing they were too high to get the job.

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