The German Federal Cartel Office searched the premises of seven chocolate-makers on February 7, according to Bloomberg and Reuters today.  The searchees included Mars, Nestle, Kraft, and Ritter.

Possible price-fixing among dominant chocolate-makers surfaced last November with disclosure of search warrants in Canada and then the firing up of a U.S. probe by the Antitrust Division within the Department of Justice. 

Dozens of civil class actions followed in venues across the country.  The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has set a February 19 deadline for responses to motions to centralize all the cases before a single district judge in Texas, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, or Pennsylvania.

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