The Anti-Trust Authority reported four companies that manufacture UHT milk to the Trade Ministry, claiming they had surreptitiously agreed to raise prices–simultaneously and by similar percentages–in a flagrant breach of anti-trust regulations.
Tarek Tawfik, head of the Egyptian Chamber of Foodstuffs Manufacturers, said the companies had arrived at the covert agreement on Trade Ministry premises. "How could they conspire to do something like this while sitting inside the ministry–with a ministry representative attending the meeting?" he wondered.
"Any price hikes must be reported, and justified, to the ministry beforehand–otherwise, producers would immediately face fines," Tawfik added. "What’s more, sales prices are always linked to the price of fresh milk supplied by farms, which is strictly regulated by the government."
Tawfik went on to say that chamber members planned to boycott future ministry meetings unless the government moved to protect private-sector producers from similar abuses.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.