The Competition Commission of Pakistan has issued its highest ever fines – ordering two fertiliser companies to pay a total of 8.6 billion rupees (AUD$83.5 million) for abuse of dominance. Engro Fertiliser and Fauji Fertiliser allegedly artificially inflated the price of urea (used in fertiliser) in 2010 and 2011, allowing them to increase profits by 80 and 50 percent respectively. The penalty – representing 10 percent of the companies’ turnover – is the maximum that can be imposed under Pakistani competition law. In setting the fine, the Commission considered that the two companies were the only players in the urea market capable of initiating price changes, and that urea is “an essential commodity” for many farmers and very important to overall agricultural growth.