Mondelēz receives huge fine for violating competition rules


The European Commission has issued US food giant Mondelēz International with a fine for €337.5 million. It accuses the multinational (parent company of brands such as Milka, Toblerone and Côte d’Or) of violating European competition rules.

Mondelēz allegedly deliberately obstructed trade in chocolate, biscuit and coffee products between various member states in an attempt to keep prices high in certain countries. ‘This goes against European competition rules,’ said Margrethe Vestager, European Competition Commissioner.

24 anti-competitive agreements

According to the commission, Mondelēz was guilty of 24 anti-competitive agreements between 2006 and 2022. For example, the company refused to supply chocolate bars to a middleman in Germany to prevent them being resold in the territories of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria and Romania, where prices were higher.

In addition, the company allegedly stopped selling certain chocolate bars in the Netherlands to prevent them from being marketed in Belgium. The bars are more expensive there, so Mondelēz wanted to prevent the ‘cheap’ chocolate from entering that market. In other words, Belgian consumers were duped.

Abuse of dominant market position

The European Commission accuses Mondelēz – with annual sales of almost $32 billion – of abusing its dominant market position. However, according to Mondelēz, these are ‘isolated incidents, most of which were already ceased or remedied well before the investigation’. The company stated: ‘This represents a minimal part of our European business and is not representative of who we are.’