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Metro issues claim against George Weston over bread price-fixing scheme

Claim alleges Metro was 'falsely implicated' in the bread price-fixing conspiracy
Jillian Morgan, female, digital editor for Canadian Grocer

Metro Inc. is claiming damages against George Weston Ltd., Loblaw Companies Ltd. and Weston Foods (Canada) Inc. over the infamous bread price-fixing scheme that inflated wholesale bread prices in Canada over several years.

The grocer said in a press release Tuesday (Oct. 17) it has served a Statement of Defence and Crossclaim in the bread price-fixing class action in Ontario.

The claim alleges the companies falsely implicated Metro in the bread price-fixing conspiracy in which it says it had no involvement. 

Metro declined a request to comment further on the claim. 

In a statement to Canadian Grocer, Catherine Thomas, VP of communication at Loblaw, said: “Metro’s allegations are simply ridiculous and utterly untrue, as will be made clear in court.”

Canada Bread Co., a subsidiary of Grupo Bimbo, was fined a record $50 million in June after pleading guilty to its role in the scheme. 

The Competition Bureau began its probe into the allegations in 2017, two years after Loblaw alerted the agency to the grocer's part in the industry-wide price-fixing arrangement.

The investigation is still ongoing as the bureau looks into the role of other companies in the scandal, including Metro, Sobeys, Walmart Canada, Giant Tiger and Maple Leaf Foods.

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