On January 6, 2010 the EC approved the proposed acquisition of Cadbury PLC by Kraft Foods Inc. by way of public offer, conditional upon the divestment of Cadbury’s chocolate confectionary businesses in Poland and Romania. Both Cadbury and Kraft are significant competitors in the chocolate confectionary business in the European Economic Area (EEA). Kraft has a strong market presence in the EEA, except for the UK and Ireland where customers strongly prefer traditional British chocolate. Cadbury, on the other hand, is the market leader in the UK and Ireland. In continental Europe, Cadbury has significant business in France, Poland, Portugal and Romania.
The EC found the combined market share of Cadbury and Kraft’s chocolate confectionary businesses to be particularly high in Poland and Romania, where each company’s brands are in close competition, particularly in the area of chocolate tablets. To allay the EC’s competition concerns, Kraft agreed to divest Cadbury’s confectionary businesses in Poland and Romania. The EC concluded that with Kraft’s divestiture commitment, the proposed acquisition would not adversely affect competition in the EEA.