The Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has notified 18 poultry feed mills for engaging in cartel and collusive price fixing practices.
The poultry feed mills have been asked to submit their written arguments within fifteen days, and to appear before the Commission on 23 and 24 November 2010. All these mills are members of Pakistan Poultry Association (PPA).
These notifications come in the aftermath of the recent PKR 50 million fine (€421,300) imposed by CCP on the PPA for cartel infringements in the poultry industry.
Earlier the CCP undertook investigation of the Pakistan's poultry industry based on news reports pertaining to high prices of day-old chicks and exorbitant increase in the prices of poultry feed.
PPA considered nerve centre
Upon preliminary investigation, the CCP observed that Pakistan Poultry Association served as the nerve-centre that connected the different sectors of the poultry industry, including feed manufacturers, breeders, hatcheries and broiler and layer farms.
The CCP Enquiry Committee discovered that information relating to rates of various poultry products, such as chicken meat, eggs, feed etc, was being displayed on the official website of PPA and that these rates were being updated on the website on regular basis.
Inspection of PPA's offices in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi in May 2010 revealed documents that indicated that PPA, its committees, and their members regularly engaged in discussions and deliberations regarding production and pricing of poultry products and took decision on those matters.
CCP has stated that based on its initial findings, the poultry feed mills appears to have entered into an agreement amongst themselves and with other PPA members with regards to pricing, production and sale of poultry feed, which violates anti-cartel legislation.
The feed mills, which have been notified include: Kausar Feeds, Big Feed, Punjab Feeds, Lahore Feed, Pak Feed Industries, Islamabad Feeds, Supreme Feeds, Hi-Tech Feed, Shahzor Feeds, Asia Poultry Feeds, Sharif Feeds, Chakwal Feeds, Punjnad Feeds, National Feeds, Crescent Feeds, S.B Feeds, Kashmir Feeds, and Premium Feeds.