20 Apr 2019

Christchurch pipe repairs contractor warned for price fixing

6:12 pm on 20 April 2019

A company director who used illegally shared pricing information, has been given a warning.

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Photo: 123RF

The Commerce Commission has warned Quik-Shot and its director, Raad Al-Karbouli, after Fletcher Construction raised concerns about two of its former employees.

The case arose when a business sought pipe-fixing services in November 2017.

The commission found staff at Fletcher Construction's PipeWorks operation in Christchurch provided Quik-Shot director Mr Al-Karbouli with the price they would pitch for the contract.

They also recommended a price range Quik-Shot should quote to win the job.

Mr Al-Karbouli used the recommended price, but the work was eventually given to PipeWorks.

The commission said businesses need to maintain strict oversight of tenders and avoid discussing pricing information with competitors.

Price fixing is forbidden under the Commerce Act. Companies can be fined up to $10 million or three times the commercial gain for breaches of the Commerce Act.

A formal warning was considered appropriate in this case, because in the end Quik-Shot did not benefit from the illegal activity, and price fixing had only taken place over a short period, commission chairman Dr Mark Berry said.

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