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The Fair Trade Commission raided more than 40 companies Tuesday in connection with alleged bid-rigging practices tied to public works projects in Niigata Prefecture.

General construction companies searched by the fair trade watchdog include Kajima Corp., Shimizu Corp., Taisei Corp., Kumagai Gumi Co., Hazama Corp., Fujita Corp. and Tobishima Corp., investigative sources said.

According to the sources, about 40 construction companies are suspected of prearranging bidding prices ahead of actual bidding for Niigata Municipal Government public works projects in order to prevent the value of orders from falling.

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