Americana fined for unauthorised price hike
Dubai, December 26, 2007
The UAE Ministry of Economy has fined Kuwaiti food company Americana Dh10,000 ($2,720) for unauthorised increase of fast food prices, a statement said.
The price increase was effected despite previous warnings from the Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection, it said.
'Americana’s actions constitute a direct and grave violation of Consumer Federal Law no. 24/2006, which regulates consumer product prices and includes mechanisms for implementing price hikes. The Ministry has promised to pursue stiffer penalties if the food company continues to disobey government mandate,' the statement added.
The penalty was imposed after representatives of the Consumer Protection Department visited an Americana fast food outlet and confirmed consumer complaints that the company had raised its prices. The Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection had already recently denied the request of Americana to raise the prices of its fast food products, currently served in 150 restaurants across the UAE.
Dr Hashim Al Nuaimi, Consumer Protection Department director, said: “Our department has already warned Americana to revert to its previous prices, but it still remains unresponsive and continues to charge higher prices for its products. We therefore had to invoke Ministerial Decision No. (466) of 2007, which covers the enforcement of the consumer protection law and appropriate disciplinary measures.
“Americana’s blatant disregard of the law constitutes a direct violation of Consumer Federal Law no. 24/2006 on consumer protection and its implementing regulations. Should the company insist on disregarding our reprimands, then the Ministry of Economy will make sure that the company incurs the severest penalties as prescribed by law,” added Al Nuaimi.
The Ministry of Economy remains vigilant in protecting local consumers, it said.
It recently penalized 41 retail outlets for increasing prices during Ramadan. Its Supreme Committee for Consumer Protection also recently rejected plans to raise the prices of fast food meals, rice and cement, the statement added. - TradeArabia News Service