In April 2015, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) filed a complaint against Kraft Foods Group, Inc. and Mondelez Global, LLC and accused the companies of trying to drive down high cash prices for soft red winter wheat, used in snack products like Wheat Thins, by falsely signaling massive demand in the futures market. The claims include violation of the Commodity Exchange Act and the regulations thereunder.
Mondelez and Kraft allegedly bought $90 million of the December 2011 contracts – tantamount to a six-month supply – never intending to take delivery, according the CFTC. Their intent was to compel the market to lower cash wheat prices in response to the companies’ long position. When those price shifts occurred, Mondelez and Kraft earned more than $5.4 million in profits and savings, according to the agency. The Defendants moved to dismiss two counts in the complaint, but in late December, the federal judge denied the Motion to Dismiss allowing the claims to move forward. The case is U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Kraft Foods Group Inc., 15-cv-02881, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.
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