European Commission fines food giant Mondelez for obstructing cross-border sales

The European Commission is fining US food giant Mondelez 337.5 million euros for obstructing cross-border sales of biscuits, chocolate and coffee products in the EU. Mondelez also abused its dominant market position in the sale of chocolate bars.

Mondelez is the company behind brands such as Milka, Côte d'Or, Oreo, Toblerone, LU and TUC. It is headquartered in the United States and has branches in Belgium. CEO Dirk Van de Put is Belgian.

A Commission investigation, which began in 2019 with unannounced inspections at sites in Belgium, Germany and Austria, revealed that the company deliberately restricted the sale of its products through wholesalers and other distributors. This practice led to higher prices for consumers, including in Belgium, where the price of chocolate bars was kept artificially high.

In setting the fine, the Commission took into account the duration and gravity of the infringements, as well as Mondelez's cooperation with the investigation. 

“Food prices vary from country to country. Trading across member states’ borders, in the single market, can lower prices for consumers and increase the supply of products. Especially in times of high inflation, this is important,” said European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager.

“In today’s decision, we find that Mondelez illegally curtailed cross-border sales in the EU. It did so to keep the prices of its products high, to the detriment of consumers.”


A Mondelez production line © PHOTO MAXPPP

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