CMA provisionally clears Mitie and PAE over Heathrow and detention centre contracts
The markets regulator has closed an investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour over procurement contracts for Heathrow and an immigration centre.
In an update published on Wednesday, the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) said it would close the probe into the conduct of Mitie and PAE launched in March.
The two firms were responsible for on-going procurement run by the government for contracts to supply services as Heathrow and Derwentside Immigration Removal Centres.
This comes amid controversy over the Home Office’s handling of detention centres, with an estimated 40,000 migrants crossing the channel in November.
The CMA said it had “provisionally decided to close the Investigation on the basis that there are no grounds for action”.
Mitie PAE and the Home Office are now set to respond to the decision to close the investigation temporarily.
It was launched after the CMA received information which led it to believe the parties had infringed on competition law when they withdrew from both contracts.
The CMA’s investigation into the conduct of Mitie Group plc, Mitie Care and Custody Ltd (Mitie) and PAE Incorporated (or any other legal entity forming part of those undertakings) (PAE) (together ‘the Parties‘), was prompted by information received by the CMA which led to a reasonable suspicion that the Parties had infringed competition law when PAE withdrew from the HIRC & DIRC Procurement Processes.
It provisionally decided on” the balance of the evidence obtained indicates that PAE’s decision to withdraw from the HIRC & DIRC Procurement Processes was unilateral, and not the result of an anticompetitive agreement or concerted practice with Mitie”.
The update however reported that no conclusion should be drawn about whether or not there has been an infringement of competition law until the CMA makes a final decision.