For the first time in Georgia business will pay a fine for cartel deals. The amount of the fine what will be imposed on business is unprecedented and reaches a few tens of millions.
We are talking about the fuel market which players are caught in cartel agreements and artificial increase in prices. CBW reports that the Competition Agency has actually completed the fuel market research and came to the conclusion that the oil companies operating in the Georgian market are violating the Article 7 of the law on competition by setting prices and acting in collusion. For this reason, all oil companies will have to pay a substantial fine. The official statement in this regard will be made in the coming days, CBW reports.
According to the abovementioned article, economic agents are prohibited to conclude a contract, take a decision or made a concerted action (hereinafter – agreement) with the aim or the result of the restriction of competition on the market. Last week CBW learned that the fuel market research report would be publicized in the near future. The experts say if it is decided to impose a fine on companies, the latter is likely to appeal and processes will move to the Court but the prices will become competitive and fair.
An assumption that the Competition Agency would confirm the artificially inflated fuel prices was made by the Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. In late 2014, Irakli Garibashvili ordered the Competition Policy and the Competition Regulatory Authority of Georgia to investigate fuel prices and implement control over the issue. Prime minister stated that the price of oil had dropped by a large percentage on the world market but was not adequately reflected in the price of fuel at Georgian petrol pumps. The Competition Agency was established on April 14, 2015.