Photo: Amit Magal

IAA launches probe into baby formula market

Consumer complaints raise suspicions that Materna, Similac conspired to create market duopoly

The Israel Antitrust Authority has launched an investigation into a possible market share scheme in the infant formula market.


Calcalist has learned that IAA Director David Gilo has summoned senior executives from various companies in the field to answer questions about the market's situation.


The investigation was prompted by petitions filed by several social and consumer rights organizations concerning the existence of a possible duopoly between Osem's Materna and Abbott's Similac.


The infant formula market was only slightly effected by last summer's social protest, but ever since complaints about pricing methods and hikes, from both consumers and the two key market players' competitors, have been piling up at the IAA.


Baby formula prices are not subjected to supervision or government subsidies. The policies were last reviewed in 2008, following the Remedia scandal at which time it was decided not intervene in the market so to boost competition.


Also, at the time, Materna's market share was under 50% and it was not considered a monopoly. Maternal now controls 56% of the baby formula market.


Teve has recently introduced Nutrilon in an effort to penetrate the market and break the duopoly, but with very little success so far.


The Antitrust Authority would only confirm that the matter is being reviewed.


Gil Kalian contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 04.06.12, 07:56
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