Bangladesh Competition Commission fines CP, Diamond Tk 35m for egg price gouging

They raised prices abnormally in collusion with other firms in August 2022, the Competition Commission says

Published : 24 Jan 2024, 03:03 PM
Updated : 24 Jan 2024, 03:03 PM

Bangladesh Competition Commission has fined Diamond Egg Limited Tk 25 million and CP Bangladesh Tk 10 million for heavily inflating the price of eggs in high demand.

They profiteered by artificially and unfairly raising the prices in collusion with other firms in August 2022, the commission said in verdicts published on its website on Wednesday after disposing of the cases on Monday.

In this way, the companies controlled the supply and market management, which is a punishable offence under the Competition Act, according to the verdicts.,

These are the first cases against Diamond Egg and CP with the commission. Therefore, the commission slapped the fines on the company on the basis of its average turnover in the three years before the time of the crime.

The companies will have to pay Tk 100,000 in additional fines daily for a delay in depositing the original fines within one month from the verdicts.

Consumers reeling from growing inflation were hit by an abnormal hike in egg prices in mid-2022.

In meetings with stakeholders at the time, the Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection revealed that Kazi Farms, CP, Diamond and several other companies were fixing the price by sending text messages to the dealers.

The commission decided to file cases against six firms, including Diamond, Kazi Farms and CP after finding evidence in initial investigations into the allegations of price gouging on eggs.

Pradip Ranjan Chakraborty, chairman of the Competition Commission, said the companies can challenge the verdicts in appeals at the commerce ministry or the court.

Kayser Ahmed, managing director of Diamond Egg, said they will decide about the appeal after getting a copy of the verdict.

All the top officials at CP are citizens of Thailand. The company is no longer in the egg business, according to people in the sector.

The phone number for contact on CP’s website was switched off.