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Milka’s owner punished by the European Commission.  He will pay hundreds of millions of euros

Milka’s owner punished by the European Commission. He will pay hundreds of millions of euros

The European Commission imposed a fine of EUR 337.5 million on Mondelez International, the owner of brands such as Milka, Oreo and Jacobs. The investigation found that the company deliberately restricted cross-border trade between EU member states to keep prices artificially high in certain markets.

Mondelez International is an international food concern and one of the largest producers of cookies and chocolate on the global market. The company owns brands such as Milka, Oreo and Toblerone. Since 2015, Mondelez also owns the Jacobs coffee brand. On Thursday (May 23), the European Commission imposed a fine of EUR 337.5 million on the company. The decision was the result of an investigation that found that the company obstructed the coffee and confectionery trade and artificially inflated prices on the European market.

Mondelez hindered intra-EU trade to keep prices high in some markets

The EC’s investigation revealed that the company had engaged in agreements intended to restrict trade in chocolate, cookies and coffee between EU countries, and had abused its dominant position in some European markets. The company’s method was to impede cross-border trade, which would cause product prices to drop in some countries. “Such illegal practices allowed the company to charge more for its own products, causing harm to EU consumers,” the Commission said.

The EC proved, among other things, that the company refused to supply the intermediary in Germany to prevent him from reselling the chocolate in countries where prices were higher – Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria and Romania. For the same reason, Mondelez also stopped supplying products to the Netherlands, from where they could be imported to Belgium.

The company’s spokesman maintains that the problems were resolved before the EC’s intervention

– Food prices vary between Member States. Cross-border trade between countries can lower prices and increase the availability of products for consumers. This is particularly important in periods of high inflation, said Margrethe Vestager, EU deputy chief for competition.

A spokesman for Mondelez International told , that the fine resulted from “isolated incidents that were mostly resolved long before the EC investigation.”

Source: Gazeta

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