Medical equipment seller fined for running cartel

The Competition Council on Wednesday fined the medical equipment distribution companies Optika un diagnostika and Arbor Medical Korporacija for running a cartel in Latvia on the grounds that the two companies had harmonized their bids for six different healthcare institutions' calls for tenders, reported LETA news agency.

The two companies have been ordered to pay fines of, respectively, EUR 6,440 and EUR 59,670.

The tenders for procurement of medical equipment were organized by Children's Clinical University Hospital, Riga Maternity Hospital, Riga Stradins University's Stomatology Institute, Riga Eastern Clinical University Hospital, Latvia University of Agriculture, and Salaspils Health Center.

The Competition Council launched an investigation into the matter while the Children Clinical University Hospital's tender was under way.

Arbor Medical Korporacija cooperated with the Competition Council during the investigation and, as a result, the fine for the company was reduced 50 percent.

Optika un diagnostika later also decided to cooperate, and the amount of fine for this company was also reduced, by 20 percent.

Both companies have been banned from participating in public procurement tenders for a year.

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