Keltbray’s CMA appeal begins

UK demolition giant Keltbray has has launched an appeal in the Competition Appeal Tribunal against the level of the financial punishment resulting from last year’s CMA investigation.

The company claims that the fine was disproportionate and was calculated wrongly, adding that “the competition regulator “plucked a figure almost from thin air” when it handed down a fine of £20 million.

That figure was initially reduced to £16 million when Keltbray agreed to a settlement. Having subsequently launching an appeal, the fine was reinstated to £20 million, the biggest of the fines handed down to the 10 members of the National Federation of Demolition Contractors found to have been involved in price fixing and bid-rigging.

In its opening statement, the CMA denied calculating the fines wrongly, adding: “Keltbray hasn’t heeded the lessons from [previous] cover-bidding in the industry so deterrence is needed.”

On the restoration of the £20m fine amount, they said: “After settling the case, Keltbray had second thoughts and pulled out.

“It it is of course entitled to do that but having done so we say it can’t sensibly claim to be a settled party that is entitled to a settlement discount.”

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