The Bill That Drafted Itself: MKs, Ministers Denounce Anti-price-tag Bill After TheMarker Reports Supermarkets Sponsored It

Supermarkets are continuing to deny any connection to the proposal, maintaining that they were not the ones to hire lobbying firm Goren Amir to advance it.

Knesset members and ministers on Sunday scurried to oppose a bill that would do away with the law requiring stores to place a price tag on every item. The sudden flurry of action followed a report Sunday by TheMarker which revealed that supermarket giants Mega (Blue Square ) and Super-Sol were behind the proposal.

The supermarkets are continuing to deny any connection to the proposal, and they maintain that they were not the ones to hire lobbying firm Goren Amir to advance it. The Chamber of Commerce has said that they were.

Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat on Sunday submitted an appeal against the bill, which received the approval of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation last week. This means the committee must vote on the bill a second time.

Livnat was not present for the vote when the Knesset plenum approved the bill in its preliminary reading before being passed on to the ministers.

Apparently the negative implications for consumers "were not clear to all the ministers during the vote," Livnat said.

Meanwhile, MK Yoel Hasson (Kadima ), one of the bill's initiators, said he would vote against it if it meant businesses could put electronic price tags on shelves in place of tags on individual items - even though the formulation of the bill he submitted does indeed allow for this.

"The attempt to ease supermarkets' obligations at consumers' expense is chutzpah, especially when being done through a bill designed to improve consumers' lot," he said.

As TheMarker reported on Sunday, the bill is being advanced by the lobbying firm Goren Amir. The firm represents Mega and Super-Sol, the Chamber of Commerce said over the weekend, and not the chamber itself.

On Sunday, the chamber denied working with Goren Amir. But sources close to the supermarket chains said they worked with the lobbying firm through the chamber's retail department. Mega and Super-Sol do not appear on the list of customers that Goren Amir submitted to the Knesset. Instead, it lists an entity called "Chamber of Commerce-Supermarket Chains-Industry-Supermarket Chains" [sic].

Tomer Amir, one of the owners of the lobbying firm, said it represents the Chamber of Commerce's supermarket division and Super-Sol.