UPDATE 1-Poland fines Bombardier, Thales units for alleged bid irregularities

Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:14am EST
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* Bombardier says decision unfounded and has appealed fine

* Case concerns $134 mln rail tender from 2011 (Updates with Bombardier comment)

WARSAW/TORONTO Jan 28 (Reuters) - Poland's competition watchdog said on Wednesday it had fined the Polish units of Canada's Bombardier and France's Thales for alleged irregularities in a rail tender from 2011 worth over 500 million zlotys ($134 mln).

Bombardier spokespeople said the company abided by all applicable laws, including antitrust laws, and had already appealed the fine. A media representative for Thales said it had no immediate response.

The watchdog, UOKiK, said the unit of Bombardier, Bombardier Transportation, had filed an offer that contained deliberate mistakes and whose main goal was to make the offers of other bidders more credible.

The watchdog said Thales Polska had filed its own offer in the tender and was also to be the main sub-contractor for another offer, which it said resulted in the firm in effect filing two offers.

UOKiK ordered Bombardier Transportation to pay a fine of 4.2 million zlotys and Thales Polska to pay 759,000 zlotys. The fines can be appealed.

"Bombardier strongly refutes those claims. Antitrust behaviour is not condoned by Bombardier and contravenes our code of ethics," Bombardier spokesman Marc Laforge said.

"We will be working closely with the authorities to prove ... that this decision is unfounded."

($1 = 3.7315 zlotys) (Reporting by Marcin Goettig in Warsaw and Allison Martell in Toronto; Additional reporting by Wiktor Szary; Editing by Christian Lowe and Andrew Roche)