CAIRO: Egypt’s anti-competitive watchdog said dairy and juice maker Juhayna and two other firms had violated competition laws and fixed prices of raw milk bought from farmers, the authority said on its website.
The Egyptian Competition Authority said it had sent a notice on the issue to Juhayna, the International Company for Agro-Industrial Projects (Beyti), and the Nile Company for Food Industries (Enjoy), according to a statement dated Sunday.
The firms, which were not immediately available for comment, would have a 15-day period to stop their violations, the website statement said.
Beyti was acquired in a joint venture between Saudi Arabian dairy firm Almarai Co and PepsiCo Inc in December 2009.
The companies were paying an average price of LE 2.7 ($0.5) per kilogram of raw milk versus the 3 pounds price asked for by the Egyptian Milk Producers Association (EMPA), an EMPA official was quoted as saying by Al-Alam Al-Youm daily on Monday.
The case was first brought to the authority in December 2007 following a request from the minister of trade and industry to investigate anti-competitive activities in the dairy industry.
Juhayna reported a 23.3 percent rise in 2010 full-year net profit on Sunday. The company exports a tenth of its output, 80 percent to North Africa and the Middle East and the rest to the United States, Europe and Japan.