As reported in the December issue of the e-bulletin and in the first article
above the Office of Fair Trading (the "OFT") fired a warning shot
at the construction industry in its Annual Plan, indicating that this was one
of the sectors that it was going to concentrate its efforts on during 2005.
One year ago a West Midlands bid-rigging cartel consisting of nine companies
in the roofing sector was busted by the watchdog. The Competition Appeal Tribunal
recently dismissed an appeal by two of the firms involved. According to the
OFT the evidence compiled at inspections and through whistleblowers has been
piling up for a while. John Vickers, chairman of the watchdog has cautioned: "The
West Midlands roofing case is likely to be the first in a series of construction
cartel cases."

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