South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) slapped a combined fine of 16.06 billion won ($14.7 million) on seven local cable makers for collusive bidding.
The country’s antitrust watchdog said Thursday that the seven cable makers - LS Cable & System Ltd., Taihan Electric Wire Co., Gaon Cable Co., Nexans Korea Ltd., Daewon Cable Co., Seoul Electric Wire Co. and Iljin Electric Co. - are accused of colluding to ensure a pre-decided bidder to win in 37 tenders conducted by three private companies including Hyundai-Steel Co. from November 2011 to October 2013. The bid winner was found to have distributed the orders equally to the rest. The FTC said it will refer the case to the prosecution.
In January this year, six cable makers including Gaon, Nexans, Daewon, Taihan, LS and Cosmolink Co. were also imposed a combined fine of 3.2 billion won for bid rigging.
The FTC said that collusive tendering is rampant in the local electrical cable market because only a few selective bidders are allowed to take part and order volume and timing is often flexible.
By Seok Min-su and Choi Mira
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