SINGAPORE - The competition watchdog on Tuesday (Jan 21) served three companies with legal documents saying that they illegally rigged their bids in tenders called by Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), kick-starting a process that could result in financial penalties or other punishments imposed.
The three companies - Shin Yong Construction, Geoscapes, and Hong Power Engineering - had exchanged information and coordinated their bids for civil and electric works at WRS' attractions between July 2015 and October 2016, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore said (CCCS).
The three companies submitted bids for projects in Jurong Bird Park, the Night Safari, Singapore Zoo and River Safari, and created the false impression that independent competitive bids were made, when they were not, the watchdog said.
The CCCS said a complaint from WRS in April 2016 kick-started investigations, leading to the authority issuing the three companies with proposed infringement decisions on Tuesday. These written notices set out the facts of the case and how the CCCS arrived at its proposal, and requires a response from the companies within five weeks of their receipt of the document.
The companies can use the notices to help them in making their representations to the CCCS, such as possibly applying for the CCCS' leniency programme, which could see them granted total immunity or potential financial penalties reduced in return for information provided to the authority on cartel activities.
The CCCS will then make a decision on the punishments it wishes to impose at a later date.