Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Crown vs. Willy Wonka

The Globe breaks the news today on the great chocolate caper. Apparently the federal Competition Bureau alleges Canada's major chocolate-bar makers have been colluding for years to fix prices:

Senior executives at Hershey Canada Inc., Mars Canada Inc. and Nestlé Canada Inc. met secretly in coffee shops, restaurants and at industry conventions to set prices, the documents say. At one point, the chief executive of Nestlé Canada is alleged to have handed envelopes stuffed with pricing information to a competitor, instructing the person not to be seen picking up the material in his office.

The collusion began in 2002 and continued until a few weeks ago, the documents allege. It also involved a major food distributor, ITWAL Ltd., whose president sent regular updates to participants.
I'm glad the feds are keeping the world save for chocolate bar lovers anywhere, I really am. But I just find it amazing that, while they can expose alleged price fixing in the candy bar industry, why is it every time they look for evidence of collusion in the gasoline industry they come up empty?

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