Antitrust Authority indicts bread cartel

August 29, 2012 16:04

The Antitrust Authority on Wednesday indicted three Israeli bakeries and their executives for price fixing in the bread cartel affair.

In November 2011, the Antitrust Authority announced it would indict that Israel's three largest bakeries - Angel Bakeries Ltd., J and E Berman Group Ltd., and Davidovich Bakery Ltd. - subject to a hearing, on suspicion of establishing a cartel in the bread market. These three companies dominate the market. Angel is the largest company, with bakeries in Jerusalem, Lod, and Netivot, and AAK Oranim Ltd. The company estimates that it has a 20% share of the NIS 2 billion bread market.

Berman and its subsidiaries, including Vadash Bakery is the second largest company. Davidovich and its subsidiaries, including Ein Bar Bakery Ltd., is the third largest company.

The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor controls the price of the standard loaf of bread. In practice, prior to the period under suspicion of price fixing, there was competition for sales of the standard loaf, and prices were lower than the maximum price set by the ministry. The Antitrust Authority accuses the bakeries indicted of acting to end this competition.

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