Competition Bureau investigating Ontario grocers over alleged price-fixing

Nov 1 2017, 11:54 pm

The Competition Bureau is investigating allegation of anti-competitive conduct involving grocery stores and distributors.

According to the Bureau, the “Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Ottawa granted search warrants based on evidence that there are reasonable grounds to believe that certain individuals and companies have engaged in activities contrary to the Competition Act.”

In a statement to Daily Hive, the Bureau said that officers are conducting searches and are gathering evidence to determine the facts, but that there is no conclusion of wrongdoing at this time and no charges have been laid.

While it didn’t name anyone involved in the investigation, George Weston Limited and Loblaw Companies Limited released a statement on Tuesday regarding the Bureau’s recent searches.

The distribution company and grocery store both confirmed that “they are aware of an industry-wide investigation by the Competition Bureau concerning a price-fixing scheme involving certain packaged bread products.”

Both say they are cooperating fully.

“This process is unfolding and the companies will provide further comment when they can do so,” reads their statement.

Because the investigation is ongoing, the Bureau couldn’t add any further comments. But it did conclude that should there be evidence of conduct in violation of the Competition Act, “the Bureau will not hesitate to take appropriate action.”

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