Strauss-Elite fined NIS 5m in Cadbury affair

This is the largest fine ever paid by an Israeli company in an agreed order with the Antitrust Authority.

Antitrust Authority director general Ronit Kan and Strauss-Elite Ltd. (TASE:STEL) have signed an agreed order in the Cadbury affair, under which the company will pay a NIS 5 million fine. This is the largest fine ever paid by an Israeli company in an agreed order with the Antitrust Authority.

The fine amounts to just 4% of Strauss-Elite’s NIS 128.2 million profit in January-September 2005.

Strauss-Elite obstructed efforts by Carmit to penetrate Cadbury chocolate in Israel, causing the venture to fail. The Antitrust Authority investigations department launched a probe against Strauss-Elite and its officers. Former Antitrust Authority director general Dror Strum indicted the company and its officers. Following a hearing, the parties decided on an agreed order, instead of an indictment.

Under the agreed order, Strauss-Elite will take no action to hinder wholesalers’ business activities. The company will also not reduce rebates it gives retailers, or worsen the contractual terms it grants them, for buying competitor’s products or for the placing of those products on shelves.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on February 28, 2006

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