After examining the country's long-life milk market the Antitrust Authority yesterday warned Tnuva it is considering declaring the company a monopoly in the area and could find that the company has taken unfair advantage of that monopoly. Antitrust commissioner Ronit Kan also notified the Strauss, Tara and Ramat Hagolan dairies, as well as Tnuva, that she might find them to be parties in an anti-competitive agreement and might order Tnuva to sell its shares in Ramat Hagolan Dairies.

The authority's investigation found two parties operating in the local market for long-life (UHT) milk, Tnuva and the Ramat Hagolan Dairies. The latter is owned by Tnuva, Tara and Strauss in equal shares. Tnuva could be declared a monopoly because it was found to produce and market over 50% of all long-life milk sold in Israel.

Kan will conduct a hearing with Tnuva, Strauss and Tara before ruling on whether the companies observed an anti-competitive agreement, in violation of the Antitrust Law. The law prohibits arrangements between competing companies that hinder free competition through means such as price fixing or dividing the market among rivals.