Maker of Cadbury Dairy Milk, Oreo fined $366 million for rigging European markets

According to The European Commission, Mondelez’s "illegal practices prevented retailers from being able to freely source products in (EU) member states with lower prices,” it added.
Representative Image.
Representative Image.

The European Commission has fined Mondelēz International, Inc. (Mondelēz) €337.5 million for hindering the cross-border trade of chocolate, biscuits and coffee products between Member States, in breach of EU competition rules.

Mondelēz, headquartered in the US, is one of the world's largest producers of chocolate and biscuit products. Its portfolio includes well-known chocolate and biscuit brands such as Côte d'Or, Milka, Oreo, Ritz, Toblerone and TUC and until 2015 coffee brands such as HAG, Jacobs and Velours Noir, said a statement issued on Thursday by Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition chief.

“This case is about the price of groceries. It’s a key concern to European citizens and even more obviously in times of very high inflation, where many are in a cost-of-living crisis,” she added during a press conference, according to CNN.

The European Commission, which started looking into the case in 2019, found that Mondelez International (MDLZ) had deliberately restricted cross-border trade and abused “its dominant position” in some national markets for the sale of chocolate bars. It launched a formal investigation in 2021, the CNN said.

Among other things, the company had ceased supplying chocolate bars in the Netherlands to prevent them from being imported into Belgium, where Mondelez was selling the same products at higher prices, the EU’s executive arm said in the statement.

“The commission concluded that Mondelez’s illegal practices prevented retailers from being able to freely source products in (EU) member states with lower prices,” it added.

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