June 21, 2013
OTTAWAHershey Canada Inc. has admitted to conspiring to fix prices of chocolate confectionary products in 2007, a law enforcement bureau in Canada announced Friday.
Canada's Competition Bureau (Bureau) said Hershey was fined $4 million for its role in the case.
Earlier this month, the Bureau announced that criminal charges had been brought against Nestlé Canada Inc.; Mars Canada Inc.; ITWAL Limited (ITWAL), a national network of independent wholesale distributors; Robert Leonidas, former President of Nestlé Canada; Sandra Martinez, former President of Confectionery for Nestlé Canada; and David Glenn Stevens, President and CEO of ITWAL.
Due to Hershey's cooperation in the investigation, and its willingness to cooperate with any subsequent prosecution, the Bureau said it recommended to prosecutors that the company "receive lenient treatment."
In a statement June 6, Hershey revealed that it would plead guilty to one count of price fixing related to communications with competitors in 2007.
"Hershey Canada promptly reported the conduct to the Competition Bureau, cooperated fully with its investigation and did not implement the planned price increase that was the subject of the 2007 communications," Hershey said.
According to the Bureau, "Hershey admitted that it conspired, agreed or arranged to fix the price of chocolate confectionery products in Canada in 2007."
"Hershey further admitted that, in 2007, senior employees acting within the scope of their authority at Hershey communicated with other members of the alleged cartel to exchange competitively sensitive pricing information about chocolate confectionery products in Canada," the Bureau stated.
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