(Reuters) – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Thursday Kraft Heinz Co (KHC.O) and Mondelez International Inc (MDLZ.O) will have to pay $16 million in penalty regarding a wheat manipulation case that dates back to 2015.
Kraft Heinz, which was Kraft Foods until 2015, and Mondelez bought $90 million of December 2011 wheat futures, which gave the companies a dominant position in the market, even though they never intended to take possession of the grain, the CFTC said.
The move sent a false signal that the companies had demand for wheat and caused an artificial price fluctuation that earned them more than $5 million in profits, the CFTC said.
Both companies said they strongly disagree with CFTC’s statement, which “blatantly violate and misrepresent the terms and spirit of the consent order”, and will be seeking immediate relief from the court.
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