Big business has finally gone too far

Self-dealing, platinum parachutes, obscene profits — all these corporate acts inflame people, but I’ve now read a story that shows corporate executives sinking to a new low, engaging in an act that only the most depraved minds could imagine, let alone put into effect. Hold on to something tight because this story, out of Canada, is going to shock you to your core:

Newly released court documents allege that the Canadian divisions of Nestle, Mars, Hershey and others teamed up in a price-fixing scheme in the multibillion-dollar Canadian chocolate bar market.

Court documents in the case, unsealed by an Ottawa judge Friday, allege that senior executives at Hershey Canada Inc., Mars Canada Inc. and Nestle Canada Inc. met secretly in coffee shops, restaurants and at industry conventions to set prices.

The allegations are contained in two search warrants granted last month to Canada’s federal Competition Bureau as part of an investigation into the chocolate industry. The warrants authorized officials to seize thousands of corporate documents and computer files from Hershey, Mars, Nestle and ITWAL Ltd., a major food distributor. No charges have been filed.

The documents allege the chief executive of Nestle Canada handed envelopes stuffed with pricing information to a competitor, instructing the person not to be seen picking up the material in his office. ITWAL’s president also allegedly sent regular updates to participants.

I doubt that even the old style plutocrats — the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers, etc — would have sunk so low as to mess with the chocolate market. I’m only grateful that it was Canadian corporations, not American corps, that engaged in this truly heinous act.

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  • jj

    Oh, I don’t know. Is it as bad as class-action lawsuits?

  • http://bookwormroom.wordpress.com/ Bookworm

    JJ, once you start messing with chocolate, you’ve gone beyond the pale. Nothing is worse! :)

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    Business leaders, regardless of where they come from, follow the lead of the powerful and the prominent. After seeing the NDP party loot Canada, why shouldn’t chocolate producers get some of that pie?

  • http://mkfreeberg.webloggin.com Morgan K Freeberg

    After nearly a century, finally something good came out of giving women the right to vote. These foul fiends will no doubt be brought to justice, and end up sorry their daddies ever met their mommies. Left to our own devices, we testosterone-saturated, knuckle-dragging brutes would surely have prioritized this somewhere between catching the latest episode of The View, and buying matching sheets with the appropriate thread count. The eventual result being that this heinous crime would have been left unpunished, the chocolate moguls laughing all the way to the bank.

  • http://mkfreeberg.webloggin.com Morgan K Freeberg

    On a more serious & less sarcastic note, to those who take this somewhat seriously or must spend the holidays with relative who do — I highly recommend John Lott’s book “Freedomnomics” in which he discusses in considerable detail how complicated it is to engineer a genuinely successful price-fixing or monopoly scheme. They aren’t nearly as easy as people think.

  • swampacreage

    Capitalism makes people do BAD THINGS . . . Canadians are naive in the stealth business . . . don’t know how to hide and not get got . . be sneaky and stuff . . . you know what I mean . This is sad (boo hoo )because it makes even nice non offending Canadians look and act like . . . well you know who I mean ?

  • http://www.eternityroad.info Francis W. Porretto

    Dear God. Such villains deserve to be keelhauled, perhaps while wearing hairshirts and being forced to listen to Eminem or Kanye West. What’s next, price-fixing in the Barney and Power Rangers tie-in markets?

  • swampacreage

    Shhhhhuuuuuuuuuuuutuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup FWP or I will make you listen to a Celine Dion song ! I make the jokes around here BACK OFF FWP ! Talking about jokes (besides Bookworm and DON-KEY- OTE . . where in the heck has he gone . . . on top of a mountain . . Budda like somewher I’m sure?) did you hear about the smart American kid sitting on Santa’s knee who asked for coal this year instead of a toy since he knew all the TOYS IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD(WWW) came from China !

  • swampacreage

    Just because YOU THINK YOU HAVE A GRASP OR HOLD ON SERIOUSNESS DOESN”T MAKE” YOU HAVE A HOLD OR GRASP ON SERIOUSNESS.”. How condescendingj,just imagine how Y and Book feel . . not to mention Earl,Timegrouch or whatever his/her moniker is . . . they are cracking jokes all the time(Don-Key-Ote and Book that is )? There is hope for THE DANMAN. He can be saved !Greg rulesor greG rules or regr rules or whoever the ##$$% he is ? We all know that ?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar
  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    Btw, swamp’s FAE bomb here demonstrates the need for vampires like g. Without such as g, everyone would be this lively.

  • swampacreage

    Not bad Y . But then you you should kmow all about stick bombs . . . . BURN !!!!

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    Fuel Air Explosives are not stick bombs.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    If you can get swamp gas to be explosive, then I suppose it would be called SAE.

  • johnfromcolumbus

    Core not shocked. = )

    From the Canadian Chocolate Market to American Baseball, if you are not cheating, you are not trying.

  • Mike Devx

    “You got chocolate in my peanut butter!”

    “You got peanut butter on my chocolate!”

    And that was how we all thought that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups were invented… a couple of snackers in a hurry.

    Now it turns out, that that was a lie. It was… COLLUSION. They deliberately mixed the chocolate and the peanut butter!

    We could have stopped it there with harsh penalties. But we didn’t. And now the Canadians have been price-fixed by these hosers. Where will it all end???