You’ll recall that two big commercial bakeries and several Canadian supermarket chains were brought up on price fixing charges earlier this year… Now, it appears they are rushing to make things right with their victims, offering cooperation with the authorities and rebates to avoid prosecution…
Industrial scale bread making is a huge business. Bread is probably the single mist common
food found in any supermarket shopper’s cart. But multiply billions of loaves (produced
over more than a decade of baking) times even a few cents per loaf and you get
price fixing excess profits of hundreds of millions of dollars!
Shame, shame, shame, Loblaw’s!
Loblaw’s, Sobey’s, Metro and Walmart are cooperating with the Competition bureau, along with George Weston Ltd. and Canada Bread, the country’s two largest commercial bakers, to clean up the huge price-fixing scandal uncovered by the Federal Competition Bureau earlier this year.
“As a result of the co-operation we have provided to the Competition Bureau, neither George Weston Ltd. nor Loblaw or their respective employees will face criminal charges or penalties,” Weston’s and Loblaw’s CEO Galen Weston told the Canadian Press. “This is a difficult matter and clearly something that never should have happened.”
Weston also noted that the people in both the Weston’s and Loblaw’s organizations who were responsible for the price fixing ‘cooperation’ scheme have been fired.
The Competition bureau offered industry-wide immunity from prosecution for bakers and retailers who participated in price fixing on certain packaged bread products for more than a decade. In return, the retailers offered full cooperation in the investigation and Loblaw’s will offer rebates to affected customers in the form of $25 gift cards.
The cards will be available starting January 8, 2018. To get one, all you have to do is go to a Loblaw’s store, and swear that you are eighteen or older and that you bought at least one of the affected bread products there before March 1, 2015.
Loblaw’s expects to take a $75 million to $150 million hit on its books if the expected three to six million Canadian shoppers eligible for the rebates cash in.
Do it. Loblaw’s and Weston’s, together, are one of the biggest companies in Canada. They never needed the extra profit the ‘arrangement’ over bread prices brought them. Shame, shame, shame!
~ Maggie J.