Pakistan’s Competition Commission targets fertilizer giants for price fixing

Chemical fertilizer Urea Stock pile jumbo-bag in warehouse waiting for shipment.

Pakistan’s Competition Commission has taken action against prominent local fertilizer companies and the Fertilizer Manufacturers Advisor Council (MAC) over allegations of price fixing, issuing notices to six leading urea producers. These companies are accused of setting the price of 50-kilogram urea bags at Rs. 1468 ($17.60), a move detailed in newspaper advertisements in November 2021. This coordinated pricing strategy has raised serious concerns, prompting an inquiry by the regulatory body.

According to the Commission’s statement, the advertisements published by Engro Fertilizers Limited, Fauji Fertilizer Limited, Fatima Fertilizer Company Limited, Fauji Fertilizer Bin Qasim Limited, Agritech Limited, and Fatima Fert Limited may have violated Section 4 of the Competition Act. The inquiry highlights a disturbing level of price harmony among these companies, suggesting potential collusion beyond legal pricing activities sanctioned by the government.

This regulatory action emphasizes the necessity of maintaining fair competition within the industry, particularly in sectors critical to agriculture and the wider economy. By scrutinizing these allegations of price fixing, the Competition Commission aims to ensure that commercial decisions, including pricing strategies, adhere to competition laws designed to protect both consumers and the integrity of the market.

Source: Pakistan Observer

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