The Board of Directors of the Competition Protection and Prevention of Monopolistic Practices decided to prove the violation and file a criminal case against 14 companies operating in the aluminum sector manufacturing market for violating the Competition Protection Law by agreeing among themselves to increase and stabilize the prices of aluminum products.
The agency took the initiative to examine the practices of companies operating in the aluminum sector manufacturing market to determine whether or not there are practices harmful to competition in this sector. The examination showed that a group of companies agreed among themselves to increase and fix the price of a ton of aluminum in Egypt in one of the famous hotels in Cairo. This is in violation of the provisions of Article 6/a of the Competition Protection Law, which prohibits agreement or contracting between competing persons in a specific market if it would raise, lower or fix the prices of the products in question.
Aluminum is one of the basic metals in many developed industries, and it is a vital and basic product that is indispensable in many different industries, especially architectural ones. Therefore, the agreement of companies operating in this sector to increase and fix prices harms this market and negatively affects many industries, as the crime of Horizontal agreement – or what is known as Hardcore cartels – is one of the most serious competition crimes. It is assumed that each economic entity takes its decisions individually without being influenced by other entities, in line with the principles of free market economics that assume that competition between different entities should be based only on supply and demand mechanisms without coordination with the rest of the competitors.
In addition, horizontal agreements that focus on prices are among the worst types of agreements that are harmful to competition. Agreement to raise or fix prices is considered a horizontal agreement, and it is one of the dangerous crimes that occur once the agreement is reached without the need to implement it, and it results in disrupting the market mechanisms in determining prices. According to supply and demand, stopping competition between them, and losing the incentive for companies to reduce costs through creativity and innovation, which leads to higher prices for the consumer and an increase in monopolistic profit margins for violators.
On the other hand, the agency issued a guide for companies’ compliance with the provisions of the Competition Protection Law and published it on the website, as well as organizing seminars and conferences with the business community in order to avoid falling into these crimes.
It should also be noted that, in accordance with the provisions of Article 26 of the Competition Protection Law, the first person who initiates to inform the agency of the crimes of the horizontal agreement obtains an exemption from filing a criminal case and avoiding the penalties stipulated in the law. The instructions for the obligatory exemption of the amount and its provisions and how to benefit from it can be viewed through the website device official.
The agency calls upon anyone involved or involved in such harmful practices to quickly report the incident and benefit from the exemption provided in the law, and the agency affirms that it is determined to confront with full force all forms of horizontal agreements to avoid their severe damage to the national economy.