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Poultry Cartel Uncovered in Bulgaria

by 5m Editor
22 September 2010, at 9:47a.m.

BULGARIA - Twenty-four poultry companies have been fined for forming a cartel to fix prices.

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, reports Novinite.

Earlier this week, the Court upheld the ruling of the Competition Protection Commission from July 2008, which imposed a combined fine of 293,000 lev (BGN) on the 24 companies.

The competition watchdog established that in 2002-2007, the Union of Poultry Breeders, the organisation of egg and poultry producers in Bulgaria, organised 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 skyrocketed, 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.

The 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, according to Novinite.