Department of Economic Development harshens disciplinary action against price manipulations, monopoly

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Mohamed Nass - - On the directives of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, the Department of Economic Development (DED)- Abu Dhabi has issued a decision to take disciplinary action against companies that increase prices without justification, in order to regulate the market and ensure consumer protection.

The decision will curb unjustifiable increases in the price of food and medical equipment with a fine of AED250,000 for the first violation, increasing to AED2 million for repeat violations.

Fines apply to those raising prices for food and medical equipment whether selling retail or wholesale. In addition, those refusing to sell or creating monopolies will be subject to the same fines.

The decision also gives DED the capacity to temporarily close down the violating facility, suspend its licence for a minimum of one month up to a maximum of 3 months, or to close it down permanently, confiscate the said items, and to refer the case to the prosecution if the violation is deemed an unlawful offense.

Under the decision, the administrative fines may be appealed against within 60 days from the date of reporting the infraction, with the grievance to be looked into by DED within 90 days from the date of the transmittal of the appeal. DED may turn down the appeal, reduce the administrative fine or abolish it.

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