24 Bulgarian Firms Fined for Forming 'Poultry' CartelBusiness | September 21, 2010, Tuesday // 15:40| views
Bulgarian poultry breeders are found to have formed a cartel in 2002-2007. Photo by Union of Poultry Breeders
Bulgaria's Supreme Administrative Court has confirmed that a total of 24 firms came together to form a cartel to control the prices of eggs and poultry meat.
The Court upheld Monday the ruling of the Competition Protection Commission from July 2008 which imposed a combined fine of BGN 293 000 on the 24 companies.
The competition watchdog had established that in 2002-2007 the Union of Poultry Breeders, the branch organization of egg and poultry producers in Bulgaria, organized a number of meetings between its members in order to coordinate their price-setting.
The producers of eggs coordinated simultaneously the prices and volume of their production. As a result, in June-August 2007, the egg prices in Bulgaria skyrocket surpassing the average EU price.
In 2002-2007, the poultry farmers are found to have exchanged commercial information regularly in order to maintain a minimum price level for chicken meat.
Monday's ruling of the Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court is not final and can still be appealed but it is one more ruling confirming the forming of informal cartel agreements in various food production sectors in Bulgaria.
In 2010 so far the court has confirmed cartel agreements in milk production, wheat bread production, and sunflower oil.
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