Rami Levy questioned as Competition Authority probe widens

Rami Levy Photo: Shlomi Yosef

Following yesterday's raids on Shufersal and Strauss, Levy has been questioned by the Competition Authority and food importer Diplomat CEO Noam Weiman has been questioned under caution.

The Competition Authority's investigation of alleged price fixing in Israel's food and retailing industries is becoming wider. Rami Levy, the owner and CEO of supermarket chain Rami Levy Chain Stores Hashikma Marketing 2006 Ltd. (TASE: RMLI) came to the Competition Authority's offfices this morning. It remains unclear if he was giving evidence or questioned under caution.  

It was earlier reported that Israeli importer Diplomat Holdings Ltd. (TASE: DIPL) notified the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) that, "On November 9, CEO and controlling shareholder Noam Weiman was questioned on suspicion of committing alleged violations of the Economic Competition Law 1988. At the end of the questioning no restrictions or conditions were placed on Mr. Weiman."

The statement added, "The company believes that when the facts become clear, it will emerge that the conduct of Mr. Weiman and the company were without blemish."

At first it was thought that Weiman was only giving evidence but it is now apparent that he was questioned under caution.

Diplomat is one of Israel's biggest importers and distributors of food and consumer goods products including such international brands as Heinz, Milka, Mars, Jacobs coffee, Pringles, Starkist tuna, Kellogg's, Red Bull, Beyond Meat and much more.

The Israel Competition Authority investigation of Diplomat follows yesterday's raids on the offices of Israel's largest supermarket chain Shufersal Ltd. (TASE:SAE) and food manufacturer Strauss Group Ltd. (TASE:STRS). Shufersal CEO Itzik Abercohen was among senior executives questioned. Victory Supermarket Chain Ltd. (TASE: VCTR) founder and CEO Eyal Ravid also gave evidence to the investigation. 

Victory said in a statement this morning: "The company believes that the investigation will have no effect on its activity or that of its CEO." 

Many more executives are expected to be questioned in the investigation in the coming days.

Presumption of innocence: Those under investigation are only suspects and have the right to be presumed innocent.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 10, 2021.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2021.

Rami Levy Photo: Shlomi Yosef
Rami Levy Photo: Shlomi Yosef
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