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OFT REACTION: Willmott Dixon considers next step

Willmott Dixon will now ‘carefully consider the detail of the OFT’s findings’ and decide whether further action is required after it received a £4.5 million fine from the OFT.

The firm said: “Having received the OFT’s decision this morning, we note that Willmott Dixon Construction has received a fine of £4.5 million payable over three years. 

“Whilst the Group will now need to carefully consider the detail of the OFT’s findings and contemplate whether any further action is required, including any grounds for appeal, we can confirm that:

• Of the many thousands of tenders we submitted during the six year period in question, Willmott Dixon Construction was implicated in relation to 3 tenders, each of which was submitted several years ago

• In respect of all three incidences, the price paid by the client was not alleged or found to have been increased

• Willmott Dixon Construction did not, and was not found to have made any financial gain whatsoever

• Willmott Dixon Construction was not alleged or found to have made or received any compensatory payments

“The practice of ‘cover pricing’ has always been in contravention of our working practices and since the three incidences were brought to our attention by the OFT, the company has done everything that it can to ensure that breaches will never occur again. 

“This included the introduction of a more robust Competition Law compliance policy backed by comprehensive Competition Law training of all relevant staff and new recruits.  Willmott Dixon has also adopted and fully supports the Competition Law Code of Conduct for the construction industry promoted by the UK Contractors Group.

“We hope that our customers, our staff and our shareholders will recognize that to have been implicated in this investigation ‘flies in the face’ of everything Willmott Dixon Group stands for.”