Mondelēz Fined €337.5m By EU For Cross-Border Trade Curbs

By Reuters
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Mondelēz Fined €337.5m By EU For Cross-Border Trade Curbs

Oreo maker Mondelēz International was fined €337.5 million ($365.7 million) by EU antitrust regulators for impeding cross-border trade of chocolate, biscuits and coffee products between EU countries.

The sanction by the European Commission continues its crackdown on companies imposing territorial supply constraints on distributors and retailers.

The Commission said Mondelēz had engaged in anti-competitive deals and had also abused its dominant position in breach of EU antitrust laws. The company's fine was reduced by 15% after it acknowledged its wrongdoing.

"We are determined to uphold fundamental freedoms in the European Union and to ensure that European citizens have access to the biggest variety at the lowest prices that the market can offer," EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager told a press conference.

Response From Mondelēz

Mondelēz said the EU case concerned historical, isolated incidents, most of which stopped or were remedied well in advance of the Commission's investigation.


"This historical matter is not representative of who we are and the strong culture of compliance for which we strive," a Mondelēz spokesperson said.

Cross-Border Trade

The Commission said that Mondelēz limited the territories or customers to which seven wholesale customers could resell its products between 2012 and 2019 and also prevented 10 exclusive distributors in some EU countries from replying to sale requests from customers in other EU countries between 2006 and 2020.

Between 2015 and 2019, the company also refused to supply a broker in Germany to prevent the resale of chocolate tablet products in four countries where prices were higher, the EU watchdog said, adding that Mondelēz also stopped the supply of such products in the Netherlands to prevent them from being imported into Belgium.

Earlier this month, the Cadbury parent beat market expectations for first-quarter sales and profit, helped by steady demand for its pricey products including chocolates and salted crackers, despite rising inflationary costs.

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