Bangladesh Competition Commission (BCC) has not taken any decision yet to take any legal action against six companies and four trade bodies for manipulating the egg market and making excessive profits.
BCC Chairperson Pradip Ranjan Chakraborty told the Daily Sun on Thursday that they haven’t sued any companies yet. It is at the decision stage.
“We’ll come to the final decision next week. We’ve got preliminary evidence in the investigation that many farms have a connection with this,” he said, adding the BCC will take a decision about this.
Investigations have concluded that these entities were controlling the market through covert tactics such as text messages (SMS) to ramp up egg prices.
The companies are Kazi Farms Limited, Paragon Poultry Limited, Diamond Egg Limited, Peoples Poultry and Hatchery Limited, Naba Farms Limited, and United Egg Sale Point.
In addition, trade organisations, including Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC), Bangladesh Poultry Industries Association (BPIA), Bangladesh Poultry Farm Protection National Council, and Poultry Professionals Bangladesh are also under scrutiny.
This action follows a similar legal case filed by BCC in September 2022 against CP, Paragon, Kazi, Diamond Egg and Tejgaon Egg Traders Association President Md Amanat Ullah on charges of making the egg market unstable.
Asked about the case, BCC Chairperson Pradip Ranjan Chakraborty said, “The case is in the finishing stage, the argument is being heard.”
Consumer concerns have arisen when the price of a dozen eggs increased from Tk 145-148 to Tk 170 in mid-August.
In some areas, eggs were being sold for as much as Tk 15 a piece. Following this surge, the fisheries and livestock ministry stipulated that the production cost of each egg stood at Tk 10.50, cautioning against retail prices exceeding Tk 12 per egg.
The BCC dispatched a team to explore the underlying causes of these price hikes and the findings have resulted in the imminent legal actions.
If the accused are found guilty, it could have a far-reaching impact on the country's poultry industry and could potentially deter future market manipulations.
It serves as a crucial step to safeguard consumers from unfair pricing tactics and to uphold market integrity.