Saudi Arabia’s antitrust body, General Authority for Competition (GAC), has slapped fines to the tune of SR140 million ($37.3 million) on 14 local cement companies after they were found guilty of price manipulation.

The GAC has imposed a SR10 million fine on each of the producers for manipulating the cement prices to benefit themselves, infringing Article 4 of the Competition Law, reported Arab News. The law prohibits practices, agreements, or contracts among competing firms that lead to controlling the prices of goods and services intended for sale by increasing or decreasing them to harm the market, it stated.

 The 14 manufacturers, who control most of the Saudi cement market, were accused of reaching an illegal agreement among themselves to raise cement prices and share the local markets, said media reports.

 These include Southern Province Cement, Arabian Cement, Saudi Cement, Yanbu Cement, Hail Cement, Najran Cement, United Industrial Cement, Yamama Cement, Riyadh Cement, Al-Safwa Cement, Al-Madina Cement, Umm Al-Qura Cement, Al-Jawf Cement and Qassim Cement.