Armenia's Lusakert Poultry Factory has been fined AMD100 million (US$270,000) in the wake of charges brought by the State Commission for the Protection of Economic Competition that include creating an egg shortage resulting in price gouging.

The shortage, which occurred in December 2010, was initially said to be caused by increased demand. An investigation by the SCPEC, however, according to chairman Artak Shaboyan, revealed misconduct on the part of Lusakert. The company, said Shaboyan, deliberately cut back on daily supplies of eggs to major retailers and sold some of its production to "unknown buyers" by "shadowy means" in late December.

Lusakert representatives have disputed the claims. "Why would we create the deficit?" said company representative Manase Yepremian. "To make extra profits? It has to be proved that the company has made such profits." Yepremian said the egg shortage was caused by increased consumer demand and the ruling against Lusakert was based on "theoretical observations," rather than concrete evidence.