CCP raids PVMA offices in three cities over allegations of anti-competitive behavior
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Competition Commission (CCP) on Friday seized possible evidence during an inspection of the offices of the Pakistan Association of Vanaspati Manufacturers (PVMA) in Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi as part of an investigation into alleged violations of Articles 3 and 4 of the Competition Law. , 2010 in the edible oils and ghee sector.
As per the details, inspections were conducted to impound documents and computer stored information related to the alleged role of PVMA in anti-competitive activities.
Three teams of authorized officers entered and searched the premises and seized what they claimed was important evidence. OThe association officials fully cooperated with the research teams and handed over the required documents and information stored on computer after signing the inventory details.
During the investigation, the CCP commission of inquiry noted that the PVMA is an association of 125 manufacturers of edible oils and ghee and, according to media reports, appears to be involved in the collective fixing of the retail prices of various brands of cooking oil and ghee for various market segments.
According to data available from the committee, PVMA circulates freight charges among its member factories and frequently revises these charges based on rising and falling high speed diesel (HSD) prices. Such deliberations at the PVMA level appear to be a prima facie violation of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2010.
It appears that the association’s platform is being used to make collective business decisions regarding oil and ghee prices, and its cost components. However, competition law prohibits such business practices.
The file confiscated with the investigative committee could prove the alleged role of PVMA and other commitments in the recent price hike for edible oil and ghee.
The CCP’s mandate is to ensure free competition in all spheres of business and economic activity in order to improve economic efficiency and protect consumers from anti-competitive behavior, including the pricing of essential products.