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Dairy Milk, Oreo maker Mondelez slapped with $366mn antitrust fine

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Mondelez, the maker of Oreo, Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate and Toblerone, has been slapped with a fine of €337.5 million ($366 million) by the European Union on Thursday (May 23), its ninth-largest antitrust fine. This development comes at a time when food costs are a major concern for European households.

Mondelez, formerly Kraft, is one of the world’s largest producers of chocolate, biscuits and coffee, with revenue of $36 billion last year.

Mondelez brands also include Philadelphia cream cheese, Ritz crackers, Tuc salty biscuits and Cote d’Or and Milka.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, claimed in a statement that Mondelez had illegally limited cross-border sales within the EU to maintain higher prices for its products.

“In today’s decision, we find that that Mondelez illegally limited cross-border sales across the EU. Mondelez did so to maintain higher prices for its products to the detriment of consumers,” Vestager said.

The practice has “harmed consumers, who ended up paying more for chocolate, biscuits and coffee”.

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

The investigation by the EU dates back to January 2021. The suspicions had led the bloc’s investigators to carry out raids in Mondelez offices across Europe in November 2019.

According to the European Commission, Mondelez “abused its dominant position” in breach of the bloc’s rules by restricting sales to other EU countries with lower prices.

As reported by news agency AFP, Mondelez responded by saying the fine related to “historical, isolated incidents, most of which ceased or were remedied well in advance of the commission’s investigation”.


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“Many of these incidents were related to business dealings with brokers, which are typically conducted via sporadic and often one-off sales and a limited number of small-scale distributors developing new business in EU markets in which Mondelez is not present or doesn’t market the respective product,” it added in a statement.

(With inputs from agencies) 

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