Strauss pays $2.5m to settle Cadbury Israel lawsuit

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Strauss settles Cadbury Israel lawsuit with Carmit Candy
Strauss settles Cadbury Israel lawsuit with Carmit Candy

Related tags Civil procedure Trial

The Strauss Group has reached a NIS 9m ($2.5m) out-of-court settlement with Cadbury distributor Carmit Candy, bringing a 12-year court battle to an end.

Carmit Candy had pursued fellow-Israeli firm Strauss for damages after it alleged Strauss had blocked Cadbury’s entry into Israel in contravention of anti-trust laws.

Strauss has agreed to pay Carmit ($2.5m) to end the lawsuit and will purchase NIS 50m ($14m) of products from Carmit over the next four to ten years.

Best for both

“The president of Strauss and chairman of Carmit both agreed that realizing this issue outside of court and continuing our joint business cooperation is better for all parties,”​ Gil Messing, director of external communications and government relations at Strauss, told ConfectioneryNews.

He said that the $14m trade deal continued existing agreements between Strauss and Carmit that had lasted for 30 years.

Under the settlement, Carmit Candy was unable to comment on the case, but it said in a stock exchange filing that it was pleased to reach an agreement.

Ill-fated entry

Cadbury’s UK owners attempted to enter the Israeli market through Carmit in 2002, but the brand failed to take off. Carmit alleged in its lawsuit that Strauss had blocked Cadbury’s entry by threatening to rescind discounts offered to retailers if they stocked Cadbury products.

In 2006, Israel’s Antitrust Authority fined Strauss subsidiary Elite NIS 5m ($1.1m) following an investigation. It was agreed that no criminal charges would proceed, but it said Carmit were entitled to claim for civil damages, which could have seen Carmit awarded up to NIS 36m ($10m) had it won the case.

Consumer group Emun Hatzibur (Public Trust) filed a complaint​ in 2012 with Israel antitrust authority alleging that Strauss had exploited its market power to artificially raise the price of chocolate in Israel to around a third more than global norms – a claim Strauss denies.

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