George Weston Limited and Loblaw Companies Limited today announced actions they have taken to address their role in an industry-wide price-fixing arrangement involving certain packaged bread products, and to ensure it never happens again.
The Competition Bureau has commenced an investigation into a price-fixing arrangement. The arrangement involved the coordination of retail and wholesale prices of certain packaged bread products over a period extending from late 2001 to March 2015. Under the arrangement, the participants regularly increased prices on a coordinated basis.
“This sort of behaviour is wrong and has no place in our business or Canada’s grocery industry,” said Galen G. Weston, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of both Companies. “This should never have happened.”
Loblaw is offering customers a $25 Loblaw Card, which can be used to purchase items sold in Loblaw grocery stores across Canada. Starting on January 8, 2018, Loblaw customers can visit www.LoblawCard.ca to register and, if eligible, receive a card. The deadline for registration is May 8, 2018. In the meantime, customers can visit www.LoblawCard.ca to request a notification when registration opens.
As a result of their admission that they participated in the arrangement and their cooperation with the Competition Bureau’s investigation, the Companies will not face criminal charges or penalties.