Toronto/CMEDIA: A fine amounting to $50 million has been levied on Bakery giant Canada Bread Co. after he pleaded guilty to its role in a criminal price-fixing scheme that inflated the price of bread in Canada for years.
The Competition Bureau of Canada was reported saying Wednesday that It’s the highest price-fixing fine ever imposed by a Canadian court.
This settlement into alleged bread price-fixing in Canada is a significant milestone resulting from record food prices fueling consumer discontent with Canada’s food industry and fan distrust of grocers.
The Competition Bureau’s investigation is also ongoing into the role of other companies, including Metro, Sobeys, Walmart Canada, Giant Tiger, and Maple Leaf Foods.
“Fixing the price of bread – a food staple of Canadian households – was a serious criminal offence,” Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competition, said in a statement.
“Our continuing investigation remains a top priority,” he said. “We are doing everything in our power to pursue those who engage in price-fixing.”
Now a subsidiary of Mexico-based Grupo Bimbo, Canada Bread arranged with its competitor, Weston Foods (Canada) Inc and pleaded guilty to four counts of price-fixing under the Competition Act which resulted in two price increases, one in 2007 and another in 2011, it said.
At the time of the price-fixing arrangement, Canada Bread was under the ownership of Maple Leaf Foods.
Grupo Bimbo said it’s considering “all legal options against those responsible.”
Maple Leaf Foods did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The investigation is still ongoing.
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