The Fair Trade Commission has ordered 70 local construction companies in Gunma Prefecture to pay fines totaling 353.4 million yen for bid-rigging, officials said on Friday.FTC officials said the companies from the city of Numata and the Tone District in the prefecture held study meetings from April, 1995, through to March last year to prearrange bidding for a total of five orders from the municipal and prefectural governments for bridge construction and reconstruction of public facilities such as schools and city office buildings.Of the total, 32 were ordered to pay fines of 119.41 million yen for illicitly receiving an order from Numata for bridge construction and drainage work. Fines totaling 163.57 million yen were were brought against 49 of the construction companies for discussing their bids in advance for an order of similar public works from the prefectural government. Of the 70 constructors, Yorozuya received the the highest fine, 37.11 million yen, for participating in the bid-rigging for the five orders.

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