Canadian regulators investigate chocolate price-fixing

by Staff
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TORONTO — Canadian government officials from the country’s Competition Bureau are investigating whether the Canadian divisions of Nestle, The Hershey Co., Cadbury, Mars, Inc. and other companies have joined together in a price fixing scheme, according to the Globe and Mail newspaper. The Competition Bureau served search warrants on several major bar makers this week, requiring them to turn over documents on their pricing arrangements.

"We can confirm that we are investigating alleged anti-competitive practices in the chocolate confectionery industry," John Pecman, the Competition Bureau’s assistant deputy commissioner in the criminal matters branch, told the Globe and Mail. "The volume of commerce affected here is definitely potentially in the billions of dollars per year."

The investigation is focused on chocolate products but could expand to other types of candy depending on what is uncovered, he said. It could also be dropped if the searches uncover no illegal activity.

"There are no conclusions of wrongdoing at this time," Mr. Pecman said. "We’re just at the investigative stage."

Representatives for Nestle, Cadbury, Hershey and Mars told the Globe and Mail they were cooperating with investigators.

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