Israel’s Antitrust Authority personnel have raided the offices of Elite Industries, one of Israel’s leading food and confectionery manufacturers.
The raid is part of a probe into alleged illegal practices employed by Elite to impede the market penetration of British chocolate giant Cadbury. The Israeli noted that the investigators confiscated documents “and held Elite’s Giora Bar-Dea for questioning,” as reported in Haaretz.
Elite controls some 70% of the Israeli chocolate market and in 1995 was declared a monopoly in the field of chocolate bars. Under antitrust laws, “companies are not allowed to condition sales of their products to retailers on commitments not to sell competitors’ products.” The probe followed complaints received by the Antitrust Authority that Elite had pressured distributors not to market Cadbury chocolate.
The probe against Elite comes as the Antitrust Authority is in the final stages of an investigation into relations between retail chains and suppliers. “Elite was one of the companies under investigation and is apparently included among the firms the authority found had violated rules of fair competition,” the report notes.
As published by just-food.com this week, the Antitrust Commissioner is due to publish trade guidelines within the next few days, among them regulations that “prohibit retail chains from charging suppliers for shelf space and from allowing companies to make their own shelf arrangements.”