Toronto, ON: Cadbury, Hershey, Mars and Nestle have agreed a $23.2 million settlement in an antitrust class action lawsuit alleging the confectionary companies colluded on price-fixing of their chocolate bars in Canadian markets. The defendants — Cadbury Adams Canada Inc., Hershey Canada Inc. Nestle Canada Inc and March Canada Inc., as well as distributor ITWAL Limited —deny the allegations. However, the defendants were found to have artificially inflated the wholesale and retail prices of their confectionary between 2001 and 2008.
Canadian consumers who bought chocolate bars between October 1, 2005 and September 30, 2007 are eligible to submit a claim with documentation proving they bought over $1,000 worth of chocolate during the class period. A cap of $50 is being placed on eligible claims.
According to the settlement website, “Purchases might include gifts, giveaways, regular weekly or monthly purchases, or special events or occasions (Halloween, Christmas, Easter, birthday parties, movie nights, etc.).” And, “For persons claiming on behalf of a non-profit organization, group or commercial entity, purchases might also include employee giveaways, gifts to volunteers, re-sale for non-commercial purchases, etc.”
Consumers not eligible for direct monetary compensation will be “indirectly compensated” through donations to a group of non-profits across the country, in order to fund food and nutritional programs – Consumers Association of Canada, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Phelps Centre for the Study of Government and Business (University of British Columbia), Centre for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations and Rotman Institute for International Business (University of Toronto).
The deadline for filing a claim to receive compensation is Dec. 15, 2013. To download the form, visit https://claims-chocolateclassaction.com/FileClaim/ConsumerClaim