Puro-Klima and Hospimed coordinated their bids within public tenders for medical equipment

2015-01-07
The Office for the Protection of Competition (hereinafter referred to as “the Office”) detected and sanctioned anticompetitive behavior conducted by undertakings HOSPIMED, spol. s.r.o. and PURO-KLIMA, a.s within public tenders for medical equipment for hospitals and other equipment.

On 22 December 2014 by the first instance decision the Office imposed fines of CZK 63 332 000, approximately EUR 2 261 857 (CZK 35 569 000/EUR 1 270 321 on Hospimed and CZK 27 763 000/EUR 991 535 on Puro-Klima). The decision has not come into force yet as both undertakings appealed the decision.

In the years 2008 and 2010 mentioned undertakings coordinated their bids or their participation in following public tenders “Modernization and renovation of equipment of complex cardiovascular center Ostrava Hospital”, “UK-1. LF Medical technology for the erection of Katerinska 32” and “Modernization of equipment and renovation of technologies KC KN Liberece”. The total volume of these tenders reached almost CZK 200 million without VAT. Concerted practices influenced the outcome of the awarding procedures and the competition was infringed in the market of medical equipment supplies in the territory of the Czech Republic.  

The administrative proceeding was initiated among others on the basis of the Office´s analysis of public tenders in the sector of medical equipment supplies in the years 2007 – 2010. According to the analysis a significant number of awarding procedures was won by undertakings Puro-Klima and Hospimed. Often only one bid was submitted in these tenders. Also for several contracting authorities the supplies were regularly provided by the same undertaking.

Within the administrative proceeding the Office secured information on numerous business contacts between Hospimed and Puro-Klima including correspondence proving the collusion in the market. When reviewing particular awarding procedures, the Office found out that several bids of the parties to the proceeding were similar to a significant extent, bid prices were identical or they differed only very slightly and the offered prices were set right below the maximum price defined by the contracting authority.

According to the Office´s decision gathered mutual communication and similar bids proved that parties to the proceeding colluded and influenced the awarding procedures to ensure that one of them would win the tender. The party that did not win the given tender had sometimes been compensated by the other party through subcontracts.

International and External Relations
15/002/HS002 – S283/2011

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