The Egyptian Competition Authority said in a statement on Tuesday that it has finalised the report concerning the inspection of the practices of Ezz Steel between January 2007 and December 2010.
The report was written at the request of the general prosecutor in June 2011 to verify the compatibility of Ezz Steel with article 8 of the anti-monopoly law prohibiting companies from actions that lead to monopoly and domination of the market.
The Authority affirmed that it studied the period between 2007-2008 separately from the 2009-2010 due to changes that took place in the market after the government opened the door for imported steel by removing tariff barriers.
Article 4 of the law defines the 'domination' of a certain market by providing that it is the capacity of a person (natural or juristic) whose part exceeds 25 per cent of the market, to have an effective influence on the prices or the quantity of the product without competitors being able to restrain this influence. These conditions apply to Ezz during the first phase of the study.
The Authority concluded that Ezz Steel did not violate article 8 of the law in the period 2007-2008. With regard to the following period however, the Authority did not investigate whether the Ezz Group violated the monopoly law because it was no longer in a dominant position; in other words, because of imports, it no longer had 25 per cent of the market.
Egyptian steel magnate Ahmed Ezz who had been a leading member of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s now-defunct National Democratic Party, was reportedly suspected of monopoly.
Ezz faces accusations of corruption and money laundering. In May, Ezz – who remains under guard at Tora Prison in southern Cairo – was dismissed from his position as chairman of Ezz Dekheila, a subsidiary of Ezz Steel, which is one of the region’s largest steel manufacturers.