Canada Discovers Price-Fixing By Chocolate Companies

Canadian authorities have uncovered price-fixing from chocolate suppliers such as Mars and Nestle as well as independent distributors.

Upon discovering the shocking evidence, the Competition Bureau charged the companies involved, with full cooperation from the Canadian division of Hershey.

It’s no wonder chocolate has caused such problems for these food giants when you consider that chocolate is a drug and therefore a serious money winner.

Upon addressing the shameful state of affairs, the Commissioner of Competition spoke openly but firmly about the seriousness of this crime:

“We are fully committed to pursuing those who engage in egregious anti-competitive behaviour that harms Canadian consumers,”

He continued by stating, “Price-fixing is a serious criminal offence and today’s charges demonstrate the Competition Bureau’s resolve to stop cartel activity in Canada,”

The thorough and dedicated approach to this case seems quite surprising to the untrained eye considering what the companies sell; we’re doubtful that chocolate has ever been taken so seriously.

Alongside the food giants, three individuals will also be charged with price-fixing: Robert Leonidas, former Nestle Canada president; David Glenn Stevens president and chief executive of ITWAL; and Sandra Martinez, former president of confectionery for Nestle Canada.

Despite the hard evidence found by the authorities, all three chocolate companies promise to fight these charges vigorously.

In a statement, Mars Canada had this to say for everyone following the heated topic: “Mars Canada intends to vigorously defend itself against these allegations.”

They also added: “It is Mars Canada’s policy not to comment on pending litigation and we are therefore unable to make any additional comments in relation to this matter, which is now before the court.”

In stark contrast to this defiance of guilt, Hershey Canada will plead guilt to one count of price-fixing dated from 2007; however, they have blamed previous management for the questionable act.

Hopefully their admittance of price-fixing will work in their favour, though only time and the evidence presented will be able to tell how successful this guilty plea really is.

Maybe we should take chocolate more seriously, not just because of the money involved but because of the health benefits too.

Never again will you look at your chocolate bar and simply see it as a tasty quick snack.

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]