Egg Firm to Appeal Anti-Monopoly Agency's Decision

ARMENIA - A lawyer for Lusakert Poultry Farm has said the company intends to appeal the decision of the anti-monopoly agency, which ruled recently to fine the company for abuse of its dominant position in the market before the New Year.
calendar icon 21 April 2011
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The company's lawyer, Irina Hakobyan, accused the State Commission for Protection of Economic Competition (SCPEC) of violating the law, reports ARKA. She said the SCPEC makes rulings to fine companies without providing evidence, as required by the law. She also argued that the 100 million dram (AMD) fine set by the SCPEC does not make two per cent of the company's earning in the previous year as required by the law. According to her, two per cent amounts to AMD80 million.

On 30 March, Armenia's State Commission for Protection of Economic Competition ruled to penalise the Lusakert poultry farm in the amount of AMD100 million for abuse of its dominant position in the market and creation of an artificial shortage of eggs in late December 2010, when the households across the country were making preparations for the New Year and Christmas holidays. Eggs retail prices jumped by at least 40 per cent, to AMD80 to AMD120 (US$0.33) each, in a matter of days.

SCPEC chairman, Artak Shaboyan, said at that time that the agency had made a study of the market and found that the company had enough eggs prior to the holidays and that it withheld eggs in order to create a shortage and raise prices.

Mr Shaboyan warned against similar practices ahead of Easter when Armenian households treat each other with painted eggs.

The Armenian egg market is dominated by six major players, according to Arka, and Lusakert has a 26 per cent share.

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