The EU Commission is poised to impose a fine on Mondelez International for purportedly restricting the sale of its products among EU member states.

According to the Financial Times, which referenced three unnamed sources with direct knowledge of the matter, the penalty is expected to be issued as early as next month.

The Commission has reportedly discovered evidence that the maker of Cadbury has violated antitrust laws. The exact amount of the fine Mondelez could face remains uncertain.

In January 2021, Brussels initiated an investigation into the trade practices of the Oreo biscuit manufacturer concerning the distribution of chocolate, biscuits, and coffee within EU member states.

The Commission aimed to examine Mondelez’s role in limiting ‘parallel trade’—a practice where a company purchases products in one country at lower prices and sells them in another country where they are priced higher.

The Commission had stated that restricting parallel trade “can lead to the isolation of a national market whereby the manufacturer or supplier can charge higher prices to the detriment of consumers” and “lead to less product diversity”.

At the launch of the investigation, Commission Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager remarked that the probe would determine whether Mondelez had “restricted free competition in the markets concerned by implementing various practices hindering trade flows, ultimately leading to higher prices for consumers”.

When reached for a response to the FT’s report, a Mondelez spokesperson informed Just Food: “We confirm that in 2021, the European Commission formally initiated an investigation against Mondelēz International into alleged infringements of European Union competition law. We are co-operating with the investigation and engaging with the European Commission in an effort to reach a resolution to this matter. We cannot comment further on an ongoing legal proceeding.”

The Commission has opted not to comment on the matter.

Previously, in February, Mondelez estimated that the antitrust inquiry could potentially cost the company €300m ($318m). At the time, the Chips Ahoy! manufacturer indicated that the final cost “could be materially higher” than €300m, owing to “the inherent uncertainty of the discussions and possible outcomes”.


Sam Allcock, a seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades of expertise in Food & Drink Editorial.

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