News for Tool, Equipment and Plant Hire/Rental Professionals

CMA fines Vp

17 December 2020

CMA fines Vp

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has fined Vp £11.2m following its finding that there has been a breach of competition law by three major suppliers of groundworks products for hire in the UK.

One of the suppliers involved was Vp’s Groundforce division, its excavation support systems business.

The other companies were M.G.F (Trench Construction Systems) Ltd, which has been fined £3.7m, and Mabey Hire Ltd, which has not been fined as it brought the activity to the CMA’s attention and cooperated with the enquiry.

The CMA, which began its investigation in February 2017, found that the companies colluded illegally to reduce competition and maintain or increase prices. This involved sharing confidential information on future pricing and commercial strategy. They also coordinated their commercial activities to reduce uncertainty, including monitoring each other’s prices and challenging quotes they deemed too low.

It found that collusion between Vp and M.G.F. lasted for periods totalling nearly two years, and that Mabey Hire took part for a single period of five months.

In its accounts to 30 September 2020, announced on 7 December, Vp included a provision of £15.4m in respect of the investigation.

Vp says it intends to appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal.

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