CMA hands down massive collusion fines.

The competition watchdog has fined two major suppliers to some of Britain’s biggest construction firms more than £15 million for colluding to reduce competition and keep prices up.

Vp Group and MGF (Trench Construction Systems), which supply excavation groundworks products, have been slapped with fines of £11.2 million and £3.8 million respectively.

The Competition Markets Authority said the two companies ‘colluded illegally to reduce competition and maintain or increase prices’ for a period totalling almost two years, between 2011 and 2016.

It said they did so by sharing confidential information on future pricing and commercial strategy.

‘They also coordinated their commercial activities to reduce uncertainty, including monitoring each other’s prices and challenging quotes they deemed too low,’ the CMA said.

A third company, Mabey Hire, took part in the collusion for five months but has not been fined as the firm brought the illegal activity to the CMA’s attention and has co-operated with the investigation.