OTTAWA — The Competition Bureau’s investigation into allegations of bread price fixing includes at least seven companies from bakery wholesalers and discount chains to Canada’s three major grocers, according to court documents.
George Weston Ltd. (TSX:WN) and Loblaw Companies Ltd. (TSX:L) admitted Tuesday to participating in an industry-wide bread price-fixing arrangement for over a decade and tipping off the country’s competition watchdog.
The Competition Bureau executed search warrants at the offices of a number of grocers earlier this fall, but has said there has been no conclusion of wrongdoing and no charges have been laid.
The investigation began on Aug. 11 and was expanded on Oct. 23.
The search warrants and information to obtain them were sealed because of concerns by the watchdog that the release of the information might compromise its investigation. However, the affidavits sworn by a Competition Bureau investigator to have them sealed were unsealed by the court this week.
According to those affidavits, the regulator is also investigating the alleged involvement of Canada Bread, Walmart, Sobeys (TSX:EMP.A), Metro (TSX:MRU) and Giant Tiger as well as “other persons known and unknown.”
The Canadian Press