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Chocolate Bar Manufacturers Accused Of Price Fixing

December 27, 2007 | By More

chocolatebars.jpgNew allegations have emerged about an alleged price fixing ring surrounding a sweet industry – chocolate bar makers.

A federal investigation has led to accusations that head honchos from some of the major Canadian candy companies – Hershey, Mars and Nestle – all met surreptitiously at coffee shops, restaurants and conventions to allegedly fix the price you’ve been paying for chocolate since February 2002.

The government body issued search warrants last month and seized thousands of corporate documents and computer files from the big three, along with another firm called ITWAL Ltd., described as a major food distributor.

What was the purpose of the alleged scheme? The documents indicate some retailers had been cutting the cost of their chocolate bars and the companies supposedly banded together to stop it. The papers say if a merchant refused to give into the demands to keep prices high, they would be cut off and not given any new supplies of the sweet treat.

Similar accusations have been made in the U.S. and a separate probe is under way there. It’s important to note that none of the allegations has been proven in court, no charges have been laid as yet and that all the companies named are aiding officials leading the investigation. “We are cooperating with Canadian authorities as we always do,” confirms Nestle spokesman Francois-Xavier Perroud.

The Confectionery Manufacturers Association of Canada estimates candy lovers in the Great White North gobble up some $2.3 billion worth of the irresistible treats every year.

[City News]

Category: Food

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