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Nestle Price-Fixing Investigation Loses Its Crunch

Nov. 19, 2015
Nestle Canada had been accused of conspiring with US candy makers Mars and Hershey to fix chocolate prices in Canada between 2002 and 2008.

OTTAWA, Canada—Canadian authorities have dropped a price-fixing probe of Nestle Canada and its former president Robert Leonidas, AFP learned Thursday.

The Canadian arm of the Swiss chocolate maker had been accused of conspiring with US candy-makers Mars and Hershey to fix chocolate prices in Canada between 2002 and 2008.

In a statement, the Competition Bureau said it "entered a stay of proceedings" against the accused on Tuesday.

The move comes after it dropped charges two months ago against Mars, another former Nestle executive and ITWAL Ltd., a network of independent wholesale candy distributors.

Hershey pleaded guilty in 2013 to price-fixing and was fined Can$4 million. The company is the only target of the far-reaching probe to be convicted in the case. 

The investigation was started in 2007 after whistleblower Cadbury informed authorities that the three rivals and ITWAL had been colluding on the pricing of chocolate candy sold across Canada since 2002.

The scheme included popular brands such as Kit Kat, Coffee Crisp, Aero, Twix, Snickers, Bounty and M&Ms.

The Competition Bureau said it now considers the investigation closed.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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