SEJONG, April 20 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s antitrust watchdog said Thursday that it has imposed a combined 70.2 billion-won (US$61.4 million) fine on four local builders for rigging bids for a state railway project.
The four companies — Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co., Doosan Heavy Industries & Construction Co. and KCC Engineering & Construction Co. — allegedly colluded to participate in the bidding process to build a 58-kilometer-long railroad arranged by the Korea Railway Network Authority in 2013, according to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).
The 937.6 billion-won scheme is aimed at establishing transportation infrastructure in the mountainous region of Gangwon Province in preparation for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics slated for February next year.
The FTC said the builders worked to manipulate their bidding prices to help each other win their respective sections of the project.
Hyundai Engineering was slapped with the largest fine of 21.7 billion won, with the three others ordered to pay fines of around 16.1 billion won each, according to the watchdog.
The FTC said it will tighten monitoring of bid rigging in the construction sector and make more efforts to root out such illegal practices in a way that builds free and fair competition in the state project procurement market.