National / Crime & Legal

Road paver Nippo and others to pay ¥800 million fine over bid rigging

Kyodo

The antitrust watchdog plans to order leading road paver Nippo Corp. and eight others to pay around ¥800 million in surcharges for alleged rigging of bids for projects at Narita airport near Tokyo and elsewhere, sources close to the matter said Thursday.

The Fair Trade Commission has begun informing the companies of the possible penalties over their alleged violation of the Antimonopoly Law. It will reach a conclusion on the issue after listening to the companies’ views, the sources said.

The commission also plans to order six of the nine companies, including Tokyo-based Nippo, to take steps to prevent bid rigging from occurring again, the sources said. A Nippo official told Kyodo News, “We will consider our response.”

Maeda Road Construction Co., Seikitokyu Kogyo Co. and Obayashi Road Corp. are also among the companies that would be ordered to pay the surcharges.

According to the sources, the companies are suspected of having discussed which of them should win a contract ahead of the bid tendering for paving projects outsourced by Narita International Airport Corp., the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Port Terminal Corp. between fiscal 2011 and 2014.

Prior to the latest case, the companies have faced reprimands from the commission over alleged repeated bid rigging over reconstruction work on expressways damaged by the powerful earthquake and tsunami disaster that hit eastern Japan in March 2011.