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Page last updated at 07:37 GMT, Tuesday, 22 September 2009 08:37 UK

'Very large' fines for construction industry

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The Office of Fair Trading has fined 103 construction firms a total of £129.5m following an investigation into illegal "bid-rigging".

Business presenter Adam Shaw explained the background to the fines, which were imposed because firms colluded among themselves during the bidding for contracts, leading to customers, such as local authorities, having to pay too much.

Defending the construction industry, Stephen Ratcliffe, director of trade body the UK Contractors Group, told Today presenter Justin Webb that while the "very large" fines were warranted for historical mistakes, the industry has since "put its house in order".

And responding to claims that the tax payer had lost out because of the collusion he argued that "it was not an attempt to swindle the tax payer," in the majority of cases.

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