Former economy minister: Monopolies in Israel are not set in stone

MK Eli Cohen told Maariv that "monopoly companies in Israel use their power in order to extort prices. This bill would oblige entities defined as a monopoly to publish reports and dispel the fog."

 ELI COHEN (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
ELI COHEN
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Monopolies in Israel aren’t a decree from heaven, Former Economy minister MK Eli Cohen (Likud) told Maariv. When the Likud returns to power, the party will take care of such companies’ business sloppiness and the cost of living, as they were handled when the party was in power.

During his time as economy minister, Cohen initiated publications of prices at retail stores and pharmacy chains, which made it possible to increase competition and allow consumers to shop at the cheapest stores.

“These days ,we’re experiencing a wave of price increases in various industries such as the food industry, fuel, housing and more,” Cohen said. “Monopoly companies in Israel are using their power to extort prices and use inappropriate business practices to increase their profits at the expense of consumers and small businesses.”

"Monopoly companies in Israel are using their power to extort prices and use inappropriate business practices to increase their profits at the expense of consumers and small businesses."

Former Economy Minister Eli Cohen

The former minister initiated a bill that would oblige entities defined as monopolies – that aren’t traded on the stock exchange like Lyman Schlissel or Kimberly Clark – to publish their financial reports so that the public can see their profits and how they achieved them to encourage competitors to enter these markets.

The business fog

Cohen explained that “such publication will dispel the business fog in which they operate and allow the public and the media to scrutinize the monopoly’s financial and business conduct, thereby making it difficult to act in a way that harms the public interest.

Eli Cohen (credit: Courtesy)Eli Cohen (credit: Courtesy)

He also said that major importers of consumer goods, such as Diplomat, decided as of yesterday to postpone price increases that they had planned to implement.