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Corruption in the chocolate industry #fb

June 14, 2010

Canadian Chocolate Suit alleges price-fixing among top candy manufacturers

Cocoa

June 14, 2010

Canada gets an occasional jealous stare from its neighbors to the south for its comprehensive health care system and clean city streets, but soon Canadians might really have something to brag about: free chocolate.

The suit, filed in 2008, claims the Canadian arms of several chocolate manufacturers — including Nestle, Hershey, Mars, and Cadbury Adams — colluded to artificially inflate the price of such candy staples as M&M’s, Oh Henry!, Smarties, and Caramilk bars.

The suit portrays the defendants as dark underlords of the candy world, alleging that representatives from each company secretly met to discuss the conspiracy, and that the companies withheld their products from stores that sold candy at lower-than-recommended prices.

The settlement offer was made solely by Cadbury Adams, which said it would be willing to pay $5.7 million to extricate itself from the proceedings. Cadbury also agreed to provide potentially valuable information about the other three defendant companies.

None of the other companies is on board with the offer, and Hershey has announced that it is appealing the judge’s decision to let the settlement go forward.

Charles Wright, a lawyer involved in the suit, said the average consumer has lost so little money in the price-fixing scheme that he wouldn’t even be entitled to a single candy bar.

The suit, which grew out of an investigation by Canada’s Competition Bureau, was brought on behalf of any person who bought one of the subject products in Canada between 2001 and 2008.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 14, 2010 4:08 pm

    This might explain why we pay .89 cents to 1.30 for a chocolate bar in grocery stores, corner stores and gas stations up here. I can go to walmart in the states and get chocolate bars for .50 in singles or huge quantities for a fraction of our price in canada. (Like the equivalent of 8 packs of skittles for $2 at walmart in WA state)

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