Costa Rica’s antitrust commission will investigate the owners of five businesses on suspicion that they conspired together in bidding on a contract to administer the rondel in Zapote.
The contract entails touching up and overseeing the Zapote arena where the municipality will hold its Christmas season festival and bullfights. The agency doing the investigation is the Comisión para Promover la Competencia.
The businesses are BGL Consultores Internacionales INC S. A., MPCM Desarrollos S.A., Cooperativa de Vivienda R.L., Ganadería Chinchilla S.A. and Ganadería Tres Equis S.A., according to a press release from the Ministerio de Economía, Industría y Comercio.
The release said that the group of businesses caught the commission’s attention when officials saw news reports that BGL Consultores, Cooperativa de Vivienda and Ganadería Chinchilla would administer the arena together.
Officials said that the alliance between the businesses amounted to them collectively making a single bid in the process for the contract even though managers from these companies participated in the auction separately.
Commissioners said that Costa Rican antitrust law prohibits companies from cooperating together in public auctions or in the bidding process for government contracts.
The release said that the maximum punishment for companies found guilty of this behavior is 680 times a basic monthly salary, which is about 160 million colons or about $320,000. For individuals, the penalty is 75 times the salary, which is about 18 million colons or $36,000, said the ministry.