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Sun 21 Aug 2016 02:42 PM

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Six Saudi soft drink firms fined $8m for increasing prices by 50%

Firms were asked to reduce prices in 2009 but failed to respond to the official request, according to Competitiveness Council

Six Saudi soft drink firms fined $8m for increasing prices by 50%
(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

A Riyadh appeal court has upheld the decision of an administrative court to fine six soft drink companies over their joint decision to increase the prices of their products by 50 percent in 2009.

The court upheld the decision to fine each company $1.3 million over the breach of the kingdom's rules and regulations.

Arab News reports that the court said the unnamed companies violated Article 4/1 of the rules for competition, which prohibit such agreements, contracts and practices of fixing prices among companies which are competitors.

The newspaper reported that the companies had agreed to increase the price of their products from SR1 to SR1.5 at the end of 2009, without a justifiable reason.

Ibrahim Al-Salim, secretary of the Competitiveness Council, told Arab News that the companies were requested in 2009 to reverse their decision to increase the prices, in order to avoid punishment and penalties, but they failed to respond to the official request.

Following a six-year investigation, it was found that the companies had increased the prices purely to increase profits.

The lawyer representing the firms, Za’ar Al-Dossari, said they would appeal the decision to the Supreme Administrative Court.

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