Carmit Candy launched civil action against Strauss Group subsidiary Elite two years ago for allegedly preventing Cadbury’s entry into Israel in 2002. The case will proceed in the Lod Central District Court on 12 February.
Carmit: ‘Misuse of monopoly power’
Zohar Lande, a partner at Barnea & Co, the law firm representing Carmit alleged that Strauss, which commands 60% of the Israeli chocolate market, used its dominance in breach of antitrust laws to prevent Cadbury products from entering the Israel. Carmit is seeking NIS 36 million ($10.3m) in damages.
“It’s a misuse of monopoly power. We have received documents from the antitrust commissioner that shows that Strauss has prepared for Cadbury’s entry into Israel as a war. But even in a war you have rules,” he told ConfectioneryNews.
Carmit claims to possess documents and affidavits filed with the court that alleges Strauss threatened to rescind discounts offered to retailers if they stocked Cadbury products – some of these documents have been leaked to the Israeli press.
In 2006, Israel’s Antitrust Authority fined Elite NIS 5 million ($1.1m) following the investigation. It was agreed that no criminal charges would proceed, but entitled Carmit to claim for civil damages.
Strauss: ‘Failure begins and ends with Carmit’