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According to Canada’s official Competition Bureau, long-time rivals Mars (maker of such candies as M&Ms, Snickers, and the Dove line of chocolates) and Nestlé (which produces Butterfinger and Crunch candies, among others) have collaborated with various independent wholesalers to bump up the prices of their chocolates to a fixed level.

Screen shot 2012-01-02 at 8.12.51 AMIn addition to the corporations themselves, the executives in charge of Nestlé Canada, Mars Canada, and ITWAL (a wholesale distributor) have been named individually in the prosecution. All three firms have expressed their determination to fight the charges.

Although Hershey’s Canadian arm was initially included as another coconspirator in the scheme, its cooperation with authorities has allowed it to avoid direct prosecution. Even as it admits engaging in price fixing though, Hershey’s claims that the events in question occurred in 2007, under previous management, and that all such ethical issues have since been resolved.

John Pacman, Canada’s Interim Commissioner of Competition, appeared confident in the case, noting that “Price-fixing is a serious criminal offence and today’s charges demonstrate the Competition Bureau’s resolve to stop cartel activity in Canada.”

Source: “Chocolate Firms Nestle and Mars Accused of Price Fixing,” BBC News, June 7, 2013

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