Ofra Strauss: Signaling to competitors about raising prices? (Photo: Mark Israel Salem)
In recent weeks, the Competition Authority has questioned senior managers in the economy on suspicion of price coordination.
As far as is known, at the heart of the investigation are statements by those senior media officials regarding expected price increases, which the Competition Authority saw as an attempt to coordinate prices through the media.
Today, it seems, the controlling owner of Strauss, Ofra Strauss, also hinted that the company is about to raise prices.
In a promo for an interview that will be broadcast on the news company, Strauss was asked if the company would raise prices, as other companies have done.
At first she replied: "What we see in the world today, inflation that affects everything we do, what we are experiencing now, the entire generation of managers I am part of have not experienced."
That was the first clue.
"It sounds to me that you are preparing the ground for a price increase," said interviewer Karen Marciano.
"I really don't intend to comment on anything related to prices in the Strauss Group," Strauss replied, but after this statement came a second hint, and this time - particularly thick - regarding the company's intentions regarding prices.
Strauss said: "But part, many, of the changes we are making and will continue to make is to ensure that our company continues to be strong, and busy and profitable in the coming years as well."
In connection with the initial statement about inflation, and when her answer regarding the changes required at Strauss comes in the context of the question about raising prices - it seems that every reasonable person understands that Strauss intends to raise prices and that these things could be interpreted by the competition authority as a forbidden signal to Strauss' competitors.
Michal Cohen CEO of the Competition Authority "What is not to be said in a closed room is not to be said above the newspaper.
Sunlight does not bleach binding arrangements" (Photo: Competition Authority website)
How will the commissioner of the competition act?
Michal Cohen, CEO of the Competition Authority, recently addressed the issue of public statements regarding prices. "I want to talk about the public statements in the industry," she said. "This is an important issue that can change companies' decisions and affect competition.
I mean the situation where a player in the food market refers to the future price he thinks the product should be, or if decisions should be made on price increases.
References of this type affect elements in the market.
" "What should not be said in a closed room should not be said above the newspaper.
Sunlight does not whiten binding arrangements," she said. Now we can see how Cohen will act in the face of Ofra Strauss' insinuation.