Glossary of competition terms

This Glossary is based on definitions from DG COMP’s Glossary of terms used in EU competition policy (© European Union, 2002) and the OECD’s Glossary of industrial organisation economics and competition law (© OECD, 1993). Each term is enriched with references of national case laws from the e-Competitions Bulletin and Concurrences Review.

Bid rigging

Particular form of co-ordination between firms which can adversely affect the outcome of any sale or purchasing process in which bids are submitted. For example, firms may agree their bids in advance, deciding which firm will be the lowest bidder. Alternatively, they may agree not to bid or to rotate their bids in number or value of contracts.

© European Commission

Bid rigging is a particular form of collusive price-fixing behaviour by which firms coordinate their bids on procurement or project contracts. There are two common forms of bid rigging. In the first, firms agree to submit common bids, thus eliminating price competition. In the second, firms agree on which firm will be the lowest bidder and rotate in such a way that each firm wins an agreed upon number or value of contracts.

Since most (but not all) contracts open to bidding involve governments, it is they who are most often the target of bid rigging. Bid rigging is one of the most widely prosecuted forms of collusion.

© OECD

Glossary