Nicolas Maeterlinck

Former Bpost CEO could face trial in the US for price-fixing

The former CEO of the Belgian post office Bpost faces committal for trail before a US court. Jean-Paul Van Avermaet is accused of cartel forming in order to fix prices. The alleged offence is not related to Mr Van Avermaet’s time as CEO at Bpost, but rather to when was Head of the Belgian arm of the security company G4S. 

It is alleged that during a meeting at a hotel in Brussels in September 2019 Mr Van Avermaet and executives from two other security companies agreed to share out the security contracts for buildings between them. A couple of months later each of the three companies listed the buildings they were interest in. On the basis of this each of the buildings were attributed to one of the three companies.

Then the company to whom it had been agreed that the building should go to provided a tender that was realistic, while the other two companys' bids were grossly inflated. If this is true it constitutes not only the formation of a cartel, but also price-fixing.

These practices are illegal in both the United and the European Union. The American courts are involved as the buildings, include NATO and US Army facilities here in Belgium.

It is up to a Grand Jury to decide whether Mr Van Avermaet and the other accused should stand trial. If tried and found guilty by an American court Mr Van Avermaet could face 10 years imprisonment and a 1 million dollar fine. This comes on top of the 15 million dollars that Mr Van Avermaet (who has already admitted his guilt) has paid in an out of court settlement.

 

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