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Is the Cadbury debacle the price of a free market?

Since Kraft Foods was successful with its £11 billion offer for UK icon Cadbury the company has been surrounded by controversy in relation to a number of issues. Firstly we saw a U-turn on the closure of the Bristol-based Cadbury operation and then this week we have seen the company start and play hardball over the rumoured £258 million deficit in the company's final salary pension scheme.

While the UK government and a number of business associations have stepped forward to voice their concerns about recent moves by Kraft Foods, ultimately there is nothing which the UK government or any other body in the UK can actually do. Everything which Kraft Foods has announced is perfectly legal and after taking ownership of the operation the company is well within its rights to make changes which may have seemed unlikely some weeks and months earlier.

Whether or not Kraft Foods actually paid a full price for the Cadbury acquisition is debatable but there is no doubt that after investing £11 billion into the operation the company will want to see a quick return. The truth is that government criticism of Kraft Foods is literally water off a ducks back to a company of its size.

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