The European Commission has opened a formal investigation into Mondelez. The biscuit manufacturer is alleged to have violated competition rules by hindering cross-border trade of its products within the European Union.
Prices artificially inflated?
“Chocolates, biscuits and coffee are products consumed by European citizens daily,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s executive vice-president for competition. “We are opening a formal investigation to see whether Mondelez, a key producer of these products, might have restricted free competition in the markets concerned by implementing various practices hindering trade flows, ultimately leading to higher prices for consumers.”
Specifically, the Commission wants to examine whether the biscuit manufacturer entered into agreements with buyers by prohibiting them from selling certain Mondelēz products in other EU Member States. This would have created scarcity, which in turn led to higher prices.
According to Dutch news service RTL Nieuws, a possible fine for violating competition rules can amount to up to 10 per cent of turnover. In the case of Mondelez, this would mean a maximum fine of about 2.5 billion euros.