The Bundeskartellamt has uncovered prohibited market agreements among manufacturers of bridge expansion joints.

"The only two manufacturers on the market for multi-profile bridge expansion joints have formed a quota cartel for years," reported the President of the Federal Cartel Office on Thursday.

They would have divided the market among themselves and also agreed on a uniform price calculation formula.

The competition authority imposed fines totaling around 7.3 million euros on the two companies, Maurer SE, Munich, and Mageba GmbH, Göttingen.

Bridge expansion joints are used to compensate for changes in the length of bridges due to temperature fluctuations by pulling them apart and pushing them together.

According to the Federal Cartel Office, the agreements included orders for both new bridge construction and renovations.

With a few exceptions, the cartel covered the entire nationwide market volume for the supply of multi-profile transition structures and existed from 2001 to 2019.

When setting the fine, the Cartel Office took into account that the companies cooperated extensively in clarifying the agreements and that the proceedings were concluded due to the mutual termination of the proceedings.

The fine notices are therefore legally binding.

According to the Federal Cartel Office, the public prosecutor's office in Braunschweig is conducting investigations against those responsible for the companies on suspicion of illegal collusion in project tenders.

In January 2019, the Federal Cartel Office and the public prosecutor's office in Braunschweig searched companies and private homes for information.