CFTC fine update: Kraft and Mondelēz sue US trade commission just days post-deal

By Kristine Sherred contact

- Last updated on GMT

The two companies had immediately expressed dismay at how the CFTC handled the public airing of the deal. Pic: Getty Images/Zolnierek
The two companies had immediately expressed dismay at how the CFTC handled the public airing of the deal. Pic: Getty Images/Zolnierek

Related tags: Mondelez, Kraft, Kraft heinz, Futures contract, Trading standards, Trade, Commodity futures trading commission, Regulation, Wheat, Supply and demand

The two food giants cried foul against statements in the agency’s public documents confirming the $16m fine for alleged wheat futures manipulation.

In fact, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has removed the tworelated​ statements from its website. Only the original charge,​ filed on April 1, 2015, remains.

That decision was voluntary, according to reports.

Neither Kraft nor Mondelēz would comment further to BakeryandSnacks.

On August 20, they told us,​ “We strongly disagree with the CFTC’s statements, which blatantly misrepresent the terms and spirit of the consent order, and will be seeking immediate relief from the court.”

Two days later, they filed suit and a federal judge ordered four officials, including the CFTC chairman and enforcement director, to testify at a hearing to be held next month.

How’d we get here?

CFTC handed down the penalty on August 19, ending a four-year battle. In official statements, the CFTC explained the deleterious effects of market manipulation, calling out Kraft specifically.

It also detailed the peculiar arrangement of this no-guilt-admitted deal, which required that CFTC refrain from further commented on the case – outside of the existing public record. Individual commissioners could speak freely ‘in their own capacities,’ and they did, publishing a separate joint statement.

Though neither party admitted blame, the commissioners said, their capitulation to the fine ‘is doing the talking.’

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