"Harbor construction" compensation order for SK, POSCO, Hyundai E&C, etc.
Seoul: A court ruling came out that five large construction companies, including SK E&C and POSCO E&C, who had been bid rigging during the construction of the outskirts of Yeongil Port in Pohang, Gyeongsang Province in 2009, should compensate the government 3 billion won.
According to the court on Monday, the 15th Division of Civil Affairs of the Seoul High Court (Deputy Judge Sook-yeon Lee) executed a partial ruling of the lawsuit held on Mar. 26 stating that the government suffered losses caused by five construction companies including SK E&C, DL E&C (formerly Daelim Industrial), POSCO E&C, Hyundai E&C, and HDC Hyundai Development Company, and "the defendants are to jointly reimburse the government for 3.063 billion won."
Particularly, DL E&C is ordered to pay 1.513 billion won, POSCO E&C over 1.080 billion won, Hyundai E&C over 864 million won, and HDC Hyundai Development Company 432 million won.
Earlier, it was investigated that there was a collusion in the process of bidding for the construction of outside facilities of Yeongil Bay Port in 2009 ordered by the government. At that time, SK E&C received the final successful bid and signed the first and second contracts with the government in March of the following year, then signed the third contract in 2011 and the fourth contract in 2012, receiving construction cost of 179.2 billion. The construction was completed in July 2014.
However, the Fair Trade Commission found that there was a bid rigging at the time, imposed a fine and filed a lawsuit for 10 billion won, claiming to compensate for inflated construction costs.
During the first and second trials the court decided to dismiss the plaintiff's claim on the basis that the five-year period for claiming damages had passed, as seen from the completion of the first contract. But the Supreme Court overruled on August 29, 2019, stating that the statute should be considered differently.
The Court of Appeal and Reimbursement reported that the companies are responsible for compensation for the 3rd and 4th construction contracts for which the extinctive prescription was not completed following a two-year hearing, and ruled to compensate the government 3.063 billion won. (ANI/Global Economic)