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Cartel of bakeries to be indicted in bread price-fixing scam

By Shani Mizrahi
Three major bakery groups and some of their senior executives will be indicted for violating antitrust laws, the Antitrust Authority announced yesterday. They will be granted a hearing before any final decision is made.

The three bakery groups – Angel, Berman and Davidovich – are accused of violating the Restrictive Trade Practices Law and establishing a cartel to avoid competition in the bread and baked goods industry. They are also accused of dividing the market up between themselves and not competing for customers. Furthermore, they are accused of acting in concert to raise prices for basic breads which are under price controls.

Among the companies mentioned in the draft indictment are Angel, Oranim, Berman, Davidovich, Alumot, Ahdut, Merhavit and Dganit – all of which are subsidiaries of the three major bakery groups.

Bakery executives allegedly met in coffee shops, a gas station on the Trans-Israel Highway and even in lawyers’ offices to work out details of the pricing scheme.

Among the executives named in the draft indictment are Yaron Angel, Yehuda Shneidman, Yohanan Aharonson and Yishayahu Davidovich.

Angel Bakery said: “There is marketing and consumer competition among the bakeries, [and the competition] is one of the fiercest and most bitter in the State of Israel – competition that is accompanied by a lowering of prices in favor of consumers.”

Source: Haaretz magazine/The Marker Published 03:10 12.12.11

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