If suppliers agree with each other on the price they are to offer and whom they wish to be awarded a procurement contract, they are entering into a bidding agreement, which is unlawful under competition law (bid rigging). Bid rigging increases prices by an average of 45%, makes companies inefficient, and stifles innovation. It therefore damages the economy and the public sector and means that people have to pay more in taxes.
COMCO gathers indications about bid rigging. If you suspect anything, report it to us. Federal, cantonal or communal procurement agencies, have a duty to report if there are sufficient indications of bid rigging (see fact sheet “Suspicions of bid rigging”).
A suspicion of bid rigging, that suppliers are in some way agreeing on their bids, that “something is not quite right”, can arise for a variety of reasons. Examples include companies offering the same or very similar prices for several individual items; bids that are substantially higher than expected or higher than for comparable projects in the past; bids that include inconsistencies (e.g. arithmetical errors); attempts by suppliers to obtain information on other bidders. For more examples, see the ComCo checklist “Submissionsabreden bekämpfen” (only available in German, French, Italien).
Any documents and other factors that substantiate the suspicion will help ComCo to assess the situation. If you prepare the information that you have so that it is as clear as possible, and if you provide a description of the procurement market concerned, this will make it easier to assess the situation. But even information that has not been concisely prepared and documented can help.
Sending the information online allows reports of suspicious conduct to be processed as quickly as possible (firstname.lastname@example.org). Reports of suspicious conduct can also be sent by post to the ComCo Secretariat, Hallwylstrasse 4, 3003 Bern. You can also call the staff of the Construction Division in the ComCo Secretariat to discuss suspicions and any other questions you may have: Tel. 058 462 20 40.