Ethiopian Government Charges Steel Bar Producers for Price Fixing

Steel-price-fixing-ethiopiaJanuary 28, 2018 - Ethiopian Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Authority charged 21 local steel bar producers for price fixing following Ethiopia’s birr devaluation. The Ethiopian producers and importers, according to the charges, are guilty of fixed selling prices on the same day the devaluation was announced.

The Ethiopian Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Proclamation prohibit such price fixing arrangements between any market actors in Ethiopia.

“An agreement between or concerted practice by business persons or a decision by association of business persons in a horizontal relationship shall be prohibited if it involves, directly or indirectly, fixing a purchase or selling price or any other trading condition, collusive tendering or dividing markets by allocating customers, suppliers territories or specific types of goods or services,” reads part of the proclamation.

Based on that, the Authority sued producers and importers in separate files for violating Article 7 of the Ethiopian Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Proclamation.

In this regard, a total of 14 local rebar, corrugated sheet and steel tube and pipe producers are sued for colluding in order to fix prices in the wake of the 15 percent devaluation of the birr by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE).

Of the aforementioned 14 Ethiopian steel producers, three manufacture reinforcement bars, namely East Steel PLC, Habesha Steel Mills PLC and Saint Nail PLC On the other hand; the six are involved in manufacturing corrugated sheets.

Among the producers of corrugated sheets included in the charge file, companies such as Ethiopian Steel Profile, Ethiopian Steel PLC, Kombolcha Steel Products Industry PLC (KOSPI), a subsidiary of MIDROC Technology Group and Bazeto PLC are the most notable.

In addition, five Ethiopian producers of steel tubes and pipes, among them known brands like Walia Steel Industry PLC and Mame Steel PLC, are also among the group facing legal battle.

The Authority has also listed seven rebar importers in a separate file. These importers include Dag Trading PLC, Aberus PLC, Berhe Hagos PLC, Marka Trading, Beranea Yeshene and Haileselassie Amabye PLC

The defendants will submit their response to the Tribunal on February 20, 2018, reports Ethiopian English weekly newspaper, the reporter. In related news the Ethiopian government is also investigating more business entities involved in the production and importation of metal and metal related products also suspected of fixing prices.

Source: - Reporter



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