Autostrade Czech anti- monopoly office

Tuesday
13:24:23
April
25 2006

Autostrade Czech anti- monopoly office

Autostrade Czech anti-monopoly office

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Prague/Brno, April 4 (CTK) - The Czech anti-monopoly office UOHS insists on its final decision on the electronic toll collection system.

In reaction to Friday's ruling of the Regional Court in Brno which postponed the execution of the decision, Jindriska Koblihova, UOHS deputy chairwoman in charge of the public order section, told CTK today.

She said Autostrade was eliminated from the toll tender by the Transport Ministry in line with the public procurement law. The company, however, can turn to court to seek its rights, she added.

In mid-March, UOHS confirmed the ministry's conduct concerning the toll tender thus enabling it to sign a contract for the supply of the system with the winner of the tender, Kapsch of Austria.

Transport Minister Milan Simonovsky signed the contract last Wednesday. But, Autostrade filed a lawsuit with the Regional Court which postponed the effect of the UOHS ruling.

"The postponement of the effect should prevent that irreversible steps are taken in connection with the UOHS verdict," deputy chairman of the Regional Court Petr Sladky told CTK.

The UOHS verdict has not been cancelled yet and the court will continue to deal with the issue, said Sladky declining to explain to CTK what exactly the court's verdict meant for the Transport Ministry and Kapsch.

Autostrade lawyer Michal Dlouhy said at a news conference that the UOHS chairman should now inform the Transport Ministry and Kapsch about the court's verdict.

The two companies should refrain from any steps based on their contract to avoid sanctions, Autostrade spokesman Vladimir Bystrov noted.

The court will now continue to deal with the case. If it concludes that Autostrade's elimination from the tender was justified Autostrade could still appeal to the supreme administrative court.

The Transport Ministry does not have the decision at its disposal. Spokeswoman Marcela Zizkova said the ministry was not a party to the dispute. "Nothing has changed for us and the contract with Kapsch is valid," Zizkova said.

Kapsch, too, claims that the court's verdict changes nothing for the company.

"We have signed a contract with the Transport Ministry and we must implement it," said Kapsch Telecom CEO Karel Feix.

Deputy Transport Minister Jiri Kubinek told Czech Radio that he will have the affair analysed by the ministry's lawyers because it is something new. He said he would not speculate about it for now.

Bystrov said the verdict of the UOHS chairman which enabled the signing of the contract with Kapsch is invalid until the Regional Court makes a final decision.

Under the contract, Kapsch should launch the system on 2,100 km of motorways, high-speed roads and selected primary roads as of January next year.

There were four companies interested in supplying and operating the system in the Czech Republic: consortium Mytia (Ascom Fela with Damovo and ABD Group) which offered CZK 15 billion to build the system and operate it for 10 years, Autostrade whose bid was CZK 17.5 billion and Kapsch which offered CZK 22 billion. The highest price was offered by the consortium A-Way/AZD, CZK 33.7 billion.

The Transport Ministry eliminated three bidders citing formal shortcomings.

The eliminated companies have appealed and also filed a complaint with the European Commission EC. Simonovsky, however, does not consider it likely that the EC will launch proceedings against the Czech Republic over the toll tender.

FJ
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Source by federalistjustice.org


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