Helena Lyng Blak
2 weeks ago

Chocolate Trade Tiff: EU Fines Oreo and Toblerone Parent for Anticompetitive Practices

EU slaps €337.5 million fine on Oreo and Toblerone maker for stifling trade.
Photo by CreativeNature
Photo by CreativeNature

On Thursday, May 23, 2024, the European Commission announced it had fined Mondelēz International €337.5 million for hindering cross-border trade of chocolate and snack products within the EU.

Mondelēz International, which is based in Chicago, Illinois, is the parent company behind candy, snack food, and beverage brands such as Oreo, Toblerone, and Marabou.

According to the Commission, Mondelēz breached EU competition rules by 'engaging in anticompetitive agreements or concerted practices' to restrict cross-border trade of chocolate, biscuits, and coffee products. Additionally, the Commission asserted that Mondelēz abused its dominant position in the sale of chocolate tablets in certain national markets.

In total, the European Commission found that Mondelēz International engaged in 22 instances of anticompetitive agreements or concerted practices.

“Prices for food differ between Member States. Trade over borders of Member States in the internal market can lower prices and increase the availability of products for consumers. This is especially important in times of high inflation,” said Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President in charge of competition policy, continuing, 

“In today’s decision, we find that Mondelēz illegally limited cross-border sales across the EU. Mondelēz did so to maintain higher prices for its products to the detriment of consumers. We have therefore fined Mondelēz €337.5 million.”

Mondelēz International’s stock continued its downward trajectory following the Commission’s announcement. As of the market close on Monday, May 27, the company’s shares were down 4.17% for the past week and 7.50% for the year.

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