Mondelez Gets a EUR338m Fine for Illegally Breaking Up EU Single Market

U.S. food giant Mondelēz has agreed to pay a EUR337.5m fine from the European Commission for illegally carving the EU single market into smaller national markets to keep its prices high, reports Politico.

“The Commission concluded that Mondelēz’s illegal practices prevented retailers from being able to freely source products in Member States with lower prices and artificially partitioned the internal market,” the Commission said in a statement. “Mondelēz’ aim was to avoid that cross-border trade would lead to price decreases in countries with higher prices.” The case related to hindering cross-border trade in chocolate, biscuits and coffee.

Mondelēz said the fine covered “historical, isolated incidents, most of which ceased or were remedied well in advance” of the EU probe and formed only a “very limited part” of its business. Many of those involved “sporadic and often one-off” business dealings with brokers and small-scale distributors in countries where the company isn’t present or didn’t market the products, it said.

EU antitrust enforcers raided the company’s offices in Germany, Austria and Belgium in 2019 and then opened an investigation in 2021 into territorial supply constraints. The Commission said this can unfairly limit product choice and increase prices.

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