Business

Chocolate price-fixing case ends with charges stayed

An eight-year investigation into allegations of price fixing in the chocolate candy business has concluded after charges against Nestle Canada and a former executive were stayed.

Charges against Nestlé Canada and a former executive stayed

The remaining charges in Canada's chocolate price-fixing case were stayed, ending an eight-year investigation. (Matt Dunham/Associated Press)

An eight-year investigation into allegations of price fixing in the chocolate candy business has concluded after charges against Nestlé Canada and a former executive were stayed.

The Public Prosecution Service of Canada entered a stay of proceedings Tuesday against the company and former president Robert Leonidas, who were accused of conspiring to fix chocolate prices between 2002 and 2008.

No reason was give for the Crown's decision.

Two months ago, prosecutors also abandoned charges against Mars Canada, former Nestlé Canada executive Sandra Martinez, distributor ITWAL Ltd. and its former CEO, David Glenn Stevens.

Hershey Canada, the only company convicted in the case, pleaded guilty in June 2013 to price-fixing and was fined $4 million.

Hershey had co-operated in the Competition Bureau's investigation and the regulator recommended the company receive lenient treatment in return.

The charges stem from an investigation launched in July 2007 after the bureau was contacted by Cadbury Adams Canada Inc. under the bureau's immunity program.

The bureau says it now considers the investigation closed.

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