The Competition Bureau's investigation of a possible cartel in the confectionery industry is serious, says Omar Wakil in Global Competition Review

November 28, 2007

Canada's Competition Bureau has launched an investigation of a possible cartel in the country's chocolate confection industry.

According to John Pecman, assistant deputy commissioner of the bureau, dawn raids of several chocolate companies have been conducted, including at the offices of Mars, Nestlé and Cadbury, because of suspected anti-competitive behaviour. The volume of commerce affected could reach billions of dollars per year. The investigation appears to be entirely Canadian.

Earlier in 2007, fines against cartels in the rubber and carbon graphite industries were levelled.

Omar Wakil says the raids appear to be another example of the bureau's efforts in investigating both domestic and international cartels. The manner in which the bureau conducted the raids also speaks to its seriousness: "The use of search warrants, which are expensive, invasive and by no means common in cartel investigations, suggests that the bureau is taking these allegations very seriously indeed."


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