Overview of bid-rigging enforcement in Bulgaria (2008-2018)

Author: Eleonora Mateina

March 1, 2019, Oxford Competition Law

In the last 10 years, the Bulgarian Commission for Protection of Competition (BCPC) has, on several occasions, tried to enforce prohibition of bid-rigging in public procurement procedures. The main reason for the limited success of the enforcement was the lack of direct evidence on coordination between the investigated undertakings. Historically, bid-rigging was implemented as breach of competition law in the Bulgarian Competition Protection Act (CPA) only in 2008 – the Competition Act adopting the rules of Art. 101 and 102 of the TFEU.

Starting from 2008, the BCPC initiated proceedings against undertakings active on different markets – such as construction, wholesale of medical products, provision of diagnostics services and consumables, tourism sector, energy sector, delivery of printing machines and materials etc. Usually, the proceedings gained significant public attention due to the characteristics of the bid-rigging: public procurements with public bodies as assignors (e.g. Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health, municipal or state-owned hospitals etc.) often relying on financing from EU funds.