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Decision of the Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - GVH) Vj-199/2005: "Egg cartel"

Decision of the Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - GVH) Vj-199/2005: "Egg cartel"

The Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Authority (Gazdasági Versenyhivatal - GVH) held in its decision issued on 30 November 2006, that the Hungarian Association of Layer Hibrid Breeders and Eggproducers and several undertakings which produce and trade with eggs infringed the provisions on the prohibition of agreements restricting economic competition of the Hungarian Competition Act as well as Art. 81(1) of the EC Treaty.

The Competition Council of the GVH concluded, inter alia, that the Hungarian Association of Layer Hibrid Breeders and Eggproducers operated a "price commission", recommended minimum prices, called its member companies to increase prices, ran an authorisation system of egg imports, circulated price schedules, obliged certain member companies to offer a certain proportion of their production for export. Also, several undertakings established a joint venture, Magyar Tojás Kft., in which they operated, first, a "price commission" in order to determine selling prices and, second, a compensation mechanism in order to maintain those prices agreed upon. The joint venture functioned as an umbrella for the cartel, rather than an efficiency-enhancing cooperation. Furthermore, several undertakings held meetings at which they exchanged sensitive information concerning their selling prices, their productions costs and stocks, thereby establishing violating the provisions of prohibition of cartels.

The Competition Council of the GVH imposed the following fines: the Asscociation is obliged to pay HUF 120 milllion (ca. EUR 453.000), the owners of the joint venture, Magyar Tojás Kft., must altogether pay a fine of HUF 26,5 million (ca. EUR 100.000).

Budapest, 1 December, 2006

Hungarian Competition Authority
Communication Group

Further information:
András Mihálovits
Hungarian Competition Authority
cím: 1054 Budapest, V. ker. Alkotmány u.5.
levél: 1245 Budapest, 5. Pf. 1036
tel: +36-30 618-6618
email:
http://www.gvh.hu