Nestlé and Danone are among four companies under investigation in Turkey for allegedly violating competition laws on sharing pricing information.
Swiss food giant Nestlé, meanwhile, is also being investigated in a separate case under the accusation the company set prices and imposed unspecified restrictions for “distributors”, according to notices posted on the website today (5 January) of Rekabet Kurumu, Turkey’s competition authority.
In the first instance, Rekabet Kurumu presented the company names as Danone Tikveşli Food and Beverage Industry, Eti Gıda, Horizon Fast Consumption and Nestle Türkiye Gıda Sanayi.
A preliminary investigation was concluded in December into whether the four companies violated Article 4 of competition laws in the “exchange of information sensitive to competition”, Rekabet Kurumu noted.
It added the regulator’s board had “found the findings serious and sufficient” to launch a follow-up investigation into the said firms.
In the separate notice pertaining to Nestlé in Turkey, Rekabet Kurumu has today launched an investigation following another preliminary probe on allegations the company again violated Article 4 “determining the resale price of its distributors and imposing region and customer restrictions on its distributors”.
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The competition board came to the same conclusion, that the findings were “serious and sufficient” enough to merit further investigation.
Neither of the notices detailed the products that are central to the accusations.
Just Food approached all four companies for their respective comments, including Turkey’s Yildiz Holding, the owner of Horizon Fast Consumption, otherwise trading as Horizon Hızlı Tüketim.
Only Nestlé has responded so far. The company said: “We are co-operating fully with the authorities as part of their investigation. Nestlé is committed to operating in full compliance with all applicable regulations and legal requirements wherever we operate.”
Nestlé supplies baby and pet food, confectionery, breakfast cereal, and coffee and beverages in Turkey, according to its local website. Danone, meanwhile, distributes dairy products and water.
Horizon’s website refers to 40 different product categories, such as baby food and personal-care items supplied into Turkey, including the Ülker brand of food and beverages.
Eti Gida’s offering in the country features chocolate and cakes, adult and baby snacks, and breakfast cereals and bars.