Chocolate giants face Canadian price fix enquiry

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags International cocoa organization Chocolate Competition Pricing Price fixing

Cadbury, Mars and a number of other leading global confectioners
are under investigation in Canada over allegations of price fixing
in the country, press reports have said.

The country's Competition Bureau told UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph that the Canadian operations of Nestle and Hershey, Cadbury and Mars have handed over documents regarding their pricing strategies. News of the investigation highlights pressure on confectioners to remain competitive in pricing their goods on the back of unstable cocoa prices. The Competition Bureau said there was no indication as yet of any wrongdoing and no charges had been bought against any companies, according to the report. Though the enquiry focuses solely on pricing of chocolate bars, news sources suggest that the investigation could be expanded to the wider confectionery market in the country. Allegations over the price fixing have come at a particular difficult time for manufacturers of chocolate. Earlier this month, the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) said a strong increase in cocoa supply from the Ivory Coast has failed to put an end to market uncertainty over the price of the commodity. In the organization's full monthly report for October, the daily price of Cocoa was down $23 (€15) from the previous month to $1,915 (€1,293) per tonne, though a drive for top-quality beans resulted in a late rally in prices.

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