Leading construction companies are braced for fines running into tens of millions of pounds in a price-fixing probe that has pulled in scores of businesses and thrown the industry into turmoil. Financial Times

The Office of Fair Trading is expected soon to announce it plans to impose penalties after uncovering alleged breaches of competition rules involving more than 100 companies working on public and private sector contracts, say lawyers and industry insiders.

People familiar with the matter said the number of companies involved meant the total fines could surpass last year’s OFT cartel penalties of £121.5m on British Airways and £116m on supermarkets and dairies.

Businesses that have acknowledged they are under investigation include large contractors, such as Kier, Galliford Try, Interserve, Connaught, Balfour Beatty and Carillion. The companies have neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing.