Canada Bread Co. has been fined $50 million after pleading guilty to its role in a criminal price-fixing scheme that inflated the wholesale price of bread in Canada.
The Competition Bureau of Canada says it is the highest price-fixing fine ever imposed by a Canadian court.
It says Canada Bread, a subsidiary of Mexico-based Grupo Bimbo, pleaded guilty to four counts of price-fixing under the Competition Act.
The Competition Bureau says the bread maker admitted that it arranged with its competitor, Weston Foods (Canada) Inc., to increase prices for various bagged and sliced bread products, such as sandwich bread, hotdog buns and rolls.
The price-fixing resulted in two price increases, one in 2007 and another in 2011.
At the time of the price-fixing arrangement, Canada Bread was under the ownership of Maple Leaf Foods, and Grupo Bimbo says it's considering "all legal options against those responsible.''