Hearing On SAfrica WCup Stadium Bid Rigging

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PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) - A hearing into collusion by construction companies that led to bid rigging and price fixing on 2010 South Africa World Cup projects opened on Wednesday.

A tribunal will decide whether to confirm fines totaling $147 million for 15 companies that agreed to "rigged" projects in the general construction industry in South Africa between 2006 and 2011.

Work on World Cup stadiums is included in the findings by the Competition Commission, which revealed wrongdoing by the country's biggest building firms.

A lawyer representing the commission said there was "a shameful pattern of collusion" by the companies, leading to inflated prices on projects like the $730 million Cape Town Stadium.