Builders cartel fines reduced

The competition authority NMa has almost halved the fines (from just under €100 mln to €53 mln) it handed out to 10 building companies in 2003 because the companies cooperated with its investigation.

Bourse-listed Ballast Nedam, Bam, Heijmans and Arcadis were among those fined for their role in a price-fixing cartel. Bam has the highest fine, at €14.8 mln. The original fines relate largely to construction projects around Schiphol airport.
Meanwhile, KPN said today it does not expect any problems with the NMa over its planned takeover of Tiscali’s Dutch internet actitivities. KPN has offered €255 mln for Tiscali’s Dutch arm. The acquisition will boost its share of the retail market from 40% to 44% and its network activities from 42% to 48%. KPN says it expects the competition authority to give its approval because ‘competition in this market is very intense and will remain so.’
Holland’s biggest mail order company Wehkamp plans to become market leader in the sex toy market within a few years. The company, owned by private equity group Industri Kapital, has set up a special internet shop, including pay per second porno films.

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