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Chocolate price-fixing charges dropped against Mars, others | Toronto Star

Price-fixing charges against Mars Canada Inc., a national candy distributor, and two chocolate industry executives have been dropped, Canada’s competition watchdog announced Thursday.

The case against Nestlé Canada Inc. and its former president Robert Leonidas are continuing, the federal Competition Bureau also said in a brief statement.

The charges were dropped against distributor ITWAL Ltd. and its president and chief executive officer David Glenn Stevens, and also against Sandra Martinez, former president of confectionary for Nestlé Canada, the bureau said.

No explanation was offered.

The case, which goes back eight years, involved allegations that Canada’s four largest chocolate makers conspired to fix prices and lessen competition in the multi-billion dollar confectionary industry.

Criminal charges were laid in 2013 against Mars, Itwal, Nestlé, Hershey Canada and three industry executives following a five-year investigation by the Competition Bureau.

Hershey Canada Inc. pleaded guilty to one count of price-fixing related to communications with competitors in 2007 and was fined $4 million on June 22, 2013 in an Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

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Chocolate price-fixing charges dropped against Mars, others | Toronto Star.

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