Home » News » Detail

Facade construction cartel: AFCA files application to Cartel Court for imposition of a fine of EUR 63,000 on Simsek Bau GmbH

In the course of its investigations into the facade construction sector, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority (AFCA) filed an application with the Cartel Court on 7 June 2023 to impose a fine on Simsek Bau GmbH for anti-competitive conduct.

When the Vienna Regional Office of Criminal Investigation (LKA Wien) carried out criminal investigations into companies suspected of certain offences in 2017 and tapped their phones, it found that several invitations to tender for facade construction services appeared to have been the subject of systematic anti-competitive horizontal collusion and the exchange of competitively sensitive information. Based on the recorded telephone conversations, which the AFCA received from the WKStA, the AFCA and the LKA Wien then conducted dawn raids at several facade construction companies in 2019.

Following a clarifying amendment in relation to administrative assistance, these were the first investigations that the AFCA conducted on the basis of phone recordings. The investigations were successful, not least due to the excellent cooperation with the LKA Wien.

AFCA’s investigations confirmed that anti-competitive conduct had occurred. The single and continuous infringement in 2017 took the form of illegal price fixing, market divisions and the exchange of information with competitors. Simsek Bau GmbH has acknowledged the infringement, with the involvement of the Federal Cartel Prosecutor, bringing the proceedings to an amicable conclusion.

NFS Bau GmbH, a competitor, was fined EUR 54,000 by the Cartel Court at the request of the AFCA on 14 November 2022 (see press release of 18 November 2022).

The AFCA will file further applications relating to other companies in this sector in the near future.