Chocolate Belgian
Russia may begin to produce their own chocolate, in a bid to replace French and Belgian imports, following a Western vote to continue sanctions. Reuters

Leaving aside the obvious "wimmin be eatin’ chocolate" jokes, this is a gosh-darn problem, people. Canadian officials have officially charged worldwide chocolate makers Nestle and Mars, as well as their Canadian distributor, ITWAL, with price fixing, saying they’ve “uncovered evidence” of nefarious plots, BBC reported Friday.

Queen Elizabeth At Mars Chocolate Factory
Britain's Queen Elizabeth met workers during a visit to Mars Chocolate UK candy factory in Slough, England, April 5. Reuters/Adrian Dennis/Pool

A hearing will take place later in June. "We are fully committed to pursuing those who engage in egregious anticompetitive behavior that harms Canadian consumers," John Pecman, Canada’s interim commissioner of competition, told BBC. "Price fixing is a serious criminal offence, and today's charges demonstrate the Competition Bureau's resolve to stop cartel activity in Canada.”

Chocolate Bars
Different types of chocolate bars are seen in the company supermarket at the Nestle headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, Feb. 17, 2011. Reuters/Valentin Flauraud

Canada’s Competition Bureau said it also investigated Hershey, which cooperated and is planning to plead guilty to one charge of price fixing, in 2007. Representatives for Nestle, Mars and ITWAL said they would fight the charges. Two Nestle Canada executives and one executive from ITWAL have been formally charged.

Chocolate Pralines
A selection of pralines are pictured during a presentation at the Swiss chocolate maker Cailler in Broc Jan. 24, 2012. Reuters/Denis Balibouse

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