Sat, Feb 24, 2018 - Page 3 News List

FTC to probe tissue paper price increases

INVESTIGATION:The commission said it is to look into an alleged collective price increase, while retailers have said they have received notices that prices will go up

By Liao Chien-ying  /  Staff reporter

Shoppers purchase tissue paper at a wholesale store in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) yesterday said it is launching an investigation following media reports that tissue paper companies have reached an agreement to collectively introduce a price increase of between 10 and 30 percent next month.

According to local media reports, tissue paper companies have reportedly put a price increase on hold since 2016 when the cost of international pulp began to increase, but the cost has shot up by more than 40 percent over the past year.

Major retailers yesterday said they have been receiving notices from tissue paper companies about a planned price increase.

Hypermarket chain RT-Mart said the price increase would be reflected at all of its stores, with prices expected to increase by between 10 and 30 percent.

The price increase would “definitely” be carried out before April, RT-Mart said.

Hypermarket chain A-Mart said the price increase would be between 10 and 20 percent, and would begin in the middle of next month at the earliest.

In response, FTC Deputy Chairman Perng Shaw-jiin (彭紹瑾) said the commission would pay close attention to the alleged collective price increase.

The FTC is launching an investigation that covers not just a concerted act of price increases, but also whether distribution channels conspired with the tissue paper companies to launch a price increase, Perng said, adding that the companies would be asked to explain the reason behind the increases.

Firms found to have acted in concert to increase prices would be fined between NT$100,000 and NT$50 million (US$3,412 and US$1.71 million) under the Fair Trade Act (公平交易法), Perng said.

The fines could be doubled if the companies do not desist within a set period of time and they can repeated, he added.

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