Price fixing devastatingly widespread, says competition watchdog

A total 20 cases over price fixing have been started in the last five years, encompassing 90 companies and worth €134m, said Competition Council head Skaidrīte Ābrama in an interview with LTV on May 16.

"The numbers are devastating," she said, referring to collusive state- and municipal-level tendering.

"We cannot even deal with every little cartel," she said, admitting the watchdog sometimes has too little resources to allocate against cartels.

She pointed out construction, security and other areas as ones where price fixing is widespread.

"There have been 25 years of competition culture in our country, and apparently it is too little [to understand what competition is about]," said Ābrama.

Most recently the Competition Council fined nine companies a total €370,000 over price fixing in public tenders to supply video, audio, lighting and stage equipment to public institutions. 

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