Israel: antitrust moves to increase competition

Israel: antitrust moves to increase competition
Published: 29 July 2014


Israel’s antitrust authority is taking steps to introduce competition in the domestic cement market by calling on the country’s dominant producer to make a plant disposal or adjust discounts to its largest customers.

Antitrust Commissioner David Gilo has outlined plans to force Nesher to sell its Har Tov plant which produces about 1Mta of cement and accounts for about 30 per cent of domestic sales. Should Nesher fail to sell the cement works, the company would have to drop the discounts it offers its largest customers, according to reports in the Jerusalem Post.

Earlier, the Cost of Living cabinet approved plans to enhance competition in the cement market, including the condition that Nesher lower its prices by two per cent.

Monday’s decision would hasten the time for plans to introduce competition, which were not expected to be fully implemented until 2020.

Together with the Har Tov plant, Nesher also operates the Ramle and Haifa cement works, giving it a combined capacity of around 7Mta. Overall, Nesher currently holds about an 85 per cent of the domestic market.