Canada's Biggest Supermarket Chain Admitted To Ripping People Off On Bread Prices

    Loblaw is offering $25 of groceries to anyone affected, and some people say they'll donate it.

    Canada's largest grocery chain has admitted to taking part in an "industry-wide price-fixing arrangement" to overcharge for bread.

    Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS

    Loblaw and its parent company said the collusion lasted 14 years, from 2001 to 2015. The company said this "involved the coordination of retail and wholesale prices of certain packaged bread products" between itself and its competitors.

    In October, Canada's Competition Bureau raided the offices of Loblaw, Sobey's, and Metro — three of the country's largest supermarket companies — as part of its investigation into the alleged price fixing. Sobey's and Metro, however, say they did not break any competition laws.

    Loblaw will not be punished for its role in price fixing because it has cooperated with investigators, but the company is offering all affected customers a $25 gift card.

    CP

    Anyone who signs up through loblawcard.ca before May 8 is eligible for a gift card. The company is preparing to give out anywhere from three to six million cards.

    Some people are already vowing to donate their Loblaw groceries to food banks and other charitable groups.

    Apparently Loblaws will be offering $25 gift cards to customers because of their past bread pricing. Register to ge… https://t.co/YhYEA0BJqm

    Even at a conservative estimate, that's $75 million worth of groceries that can go to good causes.

    Loblaws is giving away 3-6 million $25 gift cards because of fraud Loblaws participated in. Request your gift card… https://t.co/uADqiiW2N6

    "Register to get your card and then donate it."

    Take your Loblaws card and shove it. Into the hands of someone that needs it. Everyone go here.… https://t.co/PbdBliQhwg

    Registration for the gift cards opens on Jan. 8, according to the website, but people can sign up for updates now.

    The idea is quickly picking up steam.

    Those of us who can afford to can sign up and then donate to our local food banks... https://t.co/NIttq2iwU5

    A Loblaw spokesperson told BuzzFeed Canada in an email that "it's a lovely idea," but did not specifically answer when asked if people could hand their gift cards over to charities.

    "With the card in hand, customers could easily buy food for themselves or for a food bank," said Kevin Groh.

    Ishmael N. Daro is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto. PGP fingerprint: 5A1D 9099 3497 DA4B

    Contact Ishmael N. Daro at ishmael.daro@buzzfeed.com.

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