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Price-fixing scandal rocks Big Kebab

June 14th, 2013

The European Commission has accused the kebab industry, which has franchises in nearly every major city, of making price agreements that violate European anti-trust laws.

For the inquiry, MEPs consumed €289,000 worth in kebab.

The allegations of price-fixing began after several members of the European Parliament noted that the price of a basic kebab – a Middle Eastern snack on basis of fried lamb meat and raw vegetables – cost as much in Brussels as it did in Strasbourg.

Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Competition: ‘Indeed, our research demonstrated that the difference in prices for a kebab across Europe is so minimal as to warrant suspicion of price-fixing and secret cartels.’ The research was conducted by MEPs in every country, who consumed a total of €289,000 worth in kebab.

‘This is preposterous,’ says Pervez Khan, president of the Federation of European Kebab and Shoarma Entrepreneurs (FEKSE), which is based in Hamburg, Germany. ‘We are an organisation that defends the interests of over a million employees in independent snack food franchises across Europe. Even if we wanted to, it would be impossible to make agreements about prices.’

Indeed, the European Commission’s accusation also draws ire from eurosceptics. ‘If our Eurocrat fat cats want to go in a continent-spanning kebab and shoarma binge, that’s fine, but they shouldn’t expect the European tax payer to foot the bill under the pretence of research,’ says Petr Mach, a prominent Czech critic of the EU.

‘We have the best interests of the kebab industry at heart,’ reassures Neelie Kroes. ‘It is a European snack food tradition that must be maintained and appreciated, and is a good reminder of diversity. That’s why we can’t allow FEKSE to restrict competition and doom this tradition to immobility.’

Neelie Kroes:
‘Kebab is a European tradition that’s a reminder of our diveristy. It must remain competitive’

The average consumer doesn’t seem to share Kroes’s concerns. ‘Oh, so they use the same prices across Europe? That’s good to know if I’m on vacation in Edinburgh this summer,’ smiles Inne, a student from Brussels. ‘I, for one, think it’s good you can trust a shoarma to be the same wherever you go,’ agrees Nicolas from Marseille.


2 Comments | RSS

  1. Since 2010, Joaquin Almunia is the Commissioner responsible for competition issues Either the article was written more than three years ago, and then the meat must be rotten…or you should replace my name by my colleague’s Commission Vice-President Joaquin Almunia…

    Neelie Kroes on 14 Jun 2013 at 10:10
  2. Get back to work, Neelie!

    Jonas Z. Aepenbroot on 14 Jun 2013 at 11:23