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Competition Council accepts commitments from The Danish Construction Association regarding exchange of information agreement

18. december 2013

On 18 December 2013 the Danish Competition Council (DCC) accepted commitments from the Danish Construction Association regarding concerns that an exchange of information agreement, for which the association is responsible, involving information about offers and identities of competing companies, may possibly facilitate anticompetitive behaviour among scaffolding companies.

For many years the Scaffolding Section “Stilladssektionen”, which is organized under the Danish Construction Association, had an exchange of information agreement according to which the members – individual scaffolding companies - were obliged to report any offers (bids) concerning scaffolding jobs of no less than DKK 50,000 to the Danish Construction Association.

The exchange of information agreement entailed that scaffolding companies, which had made an offer on a particular assignment and reported this to the association, would in turn receive information from the association regarding how many other companies (out of a maximum of three) had made an offer on the same assignment, including the identities of these other companies.

The information coming from the association was given to each company that had reported an offer on the same assignment, and was given each time a new offer regarding the same assignment was reported. The information was given to the scaffolding companies at points in time, where the negotiation concerning the final contract of the scaffolding assignment was still ongoing.

Thus the concern regarding the exchange of information was that the scaffolding companies, who were competing for the same contract, received information, which they under normal circumstances would not have access to. This information could have made it possible for the companies to adjust their individual behaviour, i.e. adjust the offers regarding scaffolding assignments, according to the knowledge of how many competing offers existed and especially from which specific competitors.

The exchange of information agreement is subject to a negative clearance issued by the Danish Competition Authority in 2001. However, since the exchange of information agreement has been abolished, the negative clearance rescinds.

The DCC has decided to accept the commitments by the Danish Construction Association, concluding that the commitments meet the concerns of the DCC regarding the risk of the information exchange agreement facilitating anticompetitive behaviour.

Contact information: Head of division Jacob Schaumburg-Müller (+4541715118).