SINGAPORE: The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) has accused three parties of bid-rigging in a tender involving the provision of electrical services for the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix from 2015 to 2017.
In a media release on Tuesday (Mar 21), CCS said it has issued a proposed infringement decision (PID) against the Cyclect Group, HPH Engineering and Peak Top Engineering. Cyclect Group comprises Chemicrete Enterprises, Cyclect Electrical Engineering and Cyclect Holdings.
The PID contains CCS' findings and the competition watchdog's reasons for arriving at its decision, to help parties prepare their representations for CCS’ consideration
CCS said it started investigating the parties after it received a complaint about the alleged anti-competitive agreements.
The F1 tender was called in December 2014 and received four bids from Chemicrete, Cyclect Electrical, HPH and Peak Top. Cyclect Electrical, which submitted the lowest bid for the three-year contract, was awarded the tender in April 2015.
However, CCS' investigations found that instead of each party independently preparing their own competitive bid, the Cyclect Group had prepared all price schedules and final bid prices for HPH’s and Peak Top’s submissions, with the intention of Cyclect Electrical winning the tender.
The PID also alleged that Cyclect Group and HPH engaged in bid-rigging for a separate tender for the provision of asset tagging services for GEMS World Academy.
After the tender opened in March 2015, Chemicrete forwarded a competing quote to HPH that was higher than its own and sought HPH's help to submit the higher quote so that it could win the tender, CCS said.
The tender received three quotes including those from Chemicrete and HPH and was awarded to Chemicrete, which had the lowest quote.
"Under the Competition Act, business entities should not enter into any agreement or engage in any concerted practice with the object or effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition. They should, instead, independently determine their responses to competition and refrain from participating in any discussion, coordination, or plan which is anti-competitive in nature," CCS said in the media release.
The Cyclect Group, HPH and Peak Top have six weeks from the receipt of the PID to make their representations to CCS, after which the competition watchdog will make its final decision.
CCS can impose a financial penalty on parties that infringe the Competition Act, up to a limit of 10 per cent of the business' turnover in Singapore for each year of infringement for a maximum of three years.