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Last Updated: Monday, 11 February 2008, 16:15 GMT
Regulators raid chocolate firms
Cocoa beans
Chocolate producers blame the soaring price of cocoa for price rises
German officials investigating possible chocolate price-fixing have raided the offices of some of Europe's biggest confectionery companies.

Nestle, Mars and Kraft confirmed that competition officials visited their German headquarters last Thursday.

Four other chocolate companies were also examined by the German Federal Cartel Office.

Nestle said it was cooperating with authorities and that price rises were due to rising costs of raw materials.

"There have been, worldwide, hefty increases in the price of cocoa. That naturally leads to the adapting of prices," Nestle spokesman Francois Perroud said.

The investigation was prompted by suspicions the companies had colluded on prices in the German market.

Canadian investigation

It is the second recent investigation into the chocolate industry.

Last November, Canadian regulators launched an investigation into allegations of price-fixing.

Canada's Competition Bureau said it was looking into chocolate products but the investigation could be widened to examine other types of sweets.

SEE ALSO
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15 Aug 07 |  Business
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15 Feb 07 |  Business

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