Metro grocer denies being involved in a cartel style bread price fixing scheme in the country and strongly contradicts allegations by the Competition Bureau that it accuses other food players of inflating prices over a period of 14 years old.
“To date, there is nothing that allows us to conclude that we have violated the Competition Act,” Metro spokeswoman Marie-Claude Bacon told the “Journal de Montréal” on Wednesday.
However, in legal documents released Wednesday, the Competition Bureau claims that at least seven companies, including Loblaw (including Provigo), Sobeys (including IGA), Metro (including Super C), Wal-Mart and Giant Tiger would have committing criminal acts under the Competition Act by fixing bread prices for more than 14 years. According to the Competition Bureau, the process also involves the two largest bread producers in Canada, Canada Bread and Weston Bakeries.
In meetings between bread producers and grocers, “retailers would have agreed to raise prices, provided that their competitors do the same,” says the Competition Bureau.
According to Metro, “internal audits” did not uncover any irregularities in the sliced bread pricing process in its subsidiaries and employees.
Metro intends to vigorously challenge the Competition Bureau’s charges in court. “The legal process will continue,” Bacon said.
At Canada Bread, it was argued Wednesday that “the allegations do not reflect the Canada Bread we know.”
Last December, Loblaw and Weston, who belong to the same group, caused a surprise by acknowledging that they had participated in a bread cartel for 14 years.
Loblaw and Weston got immunity in exchange for their cooperation. The other five companies indicated that they were cooperating with the survey managers.
To apologize, since the beginning of January, Loblaw has been offering customers $ 25 gift cards redeemable for grocery products.
Class Action Requests
Many class action lawsuits have since been filed against major grocery chains in court.
“It’s disappointing to see so many players possibly involved in this cartel. It’s clear that consumer confidence in these big players in food will suffer, “believes Dalhousie University professor and food policy expert Sylvain Charlebois.
Some of the brands of bread involved in the cartel
– Good morning
– Country Harvest