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Construction cartel update: Cartel Court fines Gebrüder Haider EUR 3.51 million at AFCA’s request

The Cartel Court has imposed a fine of EUR 3.51 million on the companies Gebrüder Haider Bauunternehmung Gesellschaft m.b.H , Gebrüder Haider & Co Hoch- und Tiefbau GmbH and Haider & Co Hoch- und Tiefbau GmbH (hereinafter referred to jointly as “Gebrüder Haider”) following a request submitted by the AFCA. The decision is final.

The companies in question were involved in a single and continuous infringement of the ban on cartels during the period from April 2010 to October 2017 and/or July 2002 to October 2017, with the infringement taking the form of illegal price fixing, market divisions and the exchange of information with competitors in relation to public and private tenders in the sector of building construction and civil engineering across many areas of Austria.

Gebrüder Haider cooperated with the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) and the Federal Cartel Prosecutor outside the leniency programme to clarify the facts of the case, acknowledging the infringement for use in proceedings before the Cartel Court.


The uncovered cartel relates to the economic sector of construction, with a focus on road building projects.

The infringement covers the entire Austrian territory, albeit to varying degrees depending on the company involved. Both public and private clients were affected by these practices, as were a large number of construction projects. The investigations are still ongoing, while some of the proceedings have been finally concluded.

The companies involved in the infringement engaged in concerted action in order to help each other to win construction contracts, thereby securing market shares and utilising their capacities accordingly, among other things. To reach this common goal, they engaged in illegal price fixing and market divisions, exchanged competitively sensitive information – relating for example to agreements on future behaviour when submitting bids – and in some cases formed anti-competitive working groups and bidding consortia.

The companies involved also agreed on which bidder should win each contract, the price to be offered and the submission of bogus offers, as well as arranging that certain competitors would not submit any bid at all.

FAQ Construction cartel update February 2024

For further information on and developments in the construction cartel, please refer to our FAQ Construction cartel UPDATE February 2024.

Fines for cartels

The Austrian Federal Cartel Act prohibits any behaviour that prevents or distorts competition. This covers price fixing agreements or the division of markets or territories. At the AFCA’s request, the Cartel Court may impose fines of up to 10% of an entity’s total turnover generated in the preceding business year if that entity is found to have breached the rules banning cartels. Fines are determined on the basis of the gravity and duration of the breach, the degree of fault, and the economic strength and cooperation of the company concerned.