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Fines of Over €60 Million Imposed on Confectionery Manufacturers in Germany

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Fines of Over €60 Million Imposed on Confectionery Manufacturers in Germany

February 04
12:48 2013

The Bundeskartellamt, the German competition authority, has concluded its fine proceedings against several manufacturers of branded confectionery. On account of several cartel infringements, fines of approx. €60 million have been imposed on 11 companies and some of their sales representatives.

The proceedings were initiated after a leniency application filed by Mars GmbH, against which no fine was imposed in accordance with the Bundeskartellamt’s Leniency Programme. In February 2008, the Bundeskartellamt conducted sector-wide searches which triggered several more leniency applications.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt, comments: “In 2007, prices for important raw materials for the production of chocolate, such as milk and cocoa, increased significantly. Obviously, some of the companies wanted to make sure that they could directly pass on their increased costs to the consumers. Instead of finding an entrepreneurial solution, the companies opted for illegal measures. Competition with rivals was simply eliminated and customers burdened with coordinated price rises.”

The confectionery companies fined include Kraft Foods Deutschland GmbH, Alfred Ritter GmbH, Nestlé Kaffee und Schokoladen GmbH, Haribo GmbH, Bahlsen GmbH and Storck GmbH.

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