The European competition watchdog has confirmed it has opened an investigation into food producer Mondelez' alleged price fixing and illegal blocking of cross-border sales.
Borders closed for biscuits?
After previous searches had taken place in some European offices of Mondelez International, now both the company itself and the European Commission confirm that an official investigation is underway into the American company. The manufacturer of brands like Milka and Oreo is suspected of infringing European competition laws.
Several - as yet unconfirmed - stories are circulating as to what exactly Mondelez may have done wrong: some media are talking about ‘under the counter’ deliveries and price fixing. The European Commission mentions possible infringements in the area of cross-border sales: the FMCG giant may have prevented products from being sold in all EU countries, for example by changing the packaging.
200 million euros
AB InBev was recently convicted of similar practices: the beer giant ensured that (cheaper) beer from the Netherlands and France could not be sold in Belgium, by using special labels. The world's biggest brewery group was fined 200 million euros for this infringement.
The investigation into Mondelez has been ongoing since November last year, but only now the news has been officially confirmed by both parties. Mondelez International mentions the study in its latest annual report to the US Competition Authority, stating that it is cooperating with the Commission. An EU spokesperson has confirmed the message to the trade journal Euractiv.