On Tuesday the 20th October the Office of Fair Trading released a list of 103 companies found guilty of ‘cover-pricing’ over the last six years.
Schools, police stations, and housing authorities across the UK have paid millions over the odds because of the scams, the OFT said. They say in their official statement that it had ignored thousands of allegations in order to concentrate on a limited number of infringements, mostly in the Midlands, between 2000 and 2007.
Apollo – who will be familiar to all of you who have endured the work carried out under the Decent Homes Programme have been fined £2,150,536 after they were named and shamed in a crackdown on price fixing in the building industry. Apollo said the allegations against it were “wholly unfounded” and it intended to fight the decision in the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
Apollo Group chief executive Rob McGregor made a quick exit at the beginning of October.
Cover pricing is where companies work together secretly to raise prices. One company will table an artificially high quote to take on a job so the other can table a slightly lower bid, which is still more than it should cost but gives the illusion of being a bargain. Seems to be a serious problem as the OFT are offering up to £100,000 for information about dodgy practices – seen anything? Call the cartels hotline on 0800 085 1664