By Jeffrey May, J.D.
The Department of Justice Antitrust Division announced its first charge in an ongoing investigation into bid rigging and price fixing by commercial flooring contractors. More charges expected.
Today, a former Vice President of Sales for an unnamed, Chicago-based commercial flooring contractor was charged in the federal district court in Chicago with conspiring to rig bids and fix prices. According to a one-count felony information, Michael P. Gannon participated in the conspiracy from 2009 until 2017 (U.S. v. Gannon, Case: 1:19-cr-00302).
While no companies were named in the filing, three firms are alleged to have participated in the challenged conduct. Gannon’s employer was identified only as Company A; however, during the relevant period, a Michael Gannon worked for Mr. Davids Flooring International, LLC, a commercial flooring distribution and installation company based in the Chicago area. The filing refers to five unidentified co-conspirators affiliated with Company A, including three owners, a sales manager, and a vice president. There also are references to individual co-conspirators associated with the two other companies.
The government alleges that the co-conspirators agreed to rig bids and fix prices and exchanged pricing-related information to enable co-conspirator companies to submit complementary bids so that the agreed-upon co-conspirator company would win the business. The information points to 11 unnamed victims. One of the alleged victims operates residential treatment facilities, according to the government.
"Today’s charge is the first of what we expect to be many in this ongoing investigation into bid rigging," said Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division. Just last week at the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, Delrahim had said that, as many of the Division’s long-running investigations were wrapping up, charges in new probes should be expected.
Companies: Mr. Davids Flooring International, LLC
MainStory: TopStory Antitrust AntitrustDivisionNews
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