Competition Bureau investigating major agricultural suppliers over sales activity

  • Feb 12, 2020

OTTAWA - The Competition Bureau says it is investigating several major agricultural suppliers to determine if conduct alleged against them may "significantly harm competition" in Canada's agricultural sector.

It says it is looking into whether BASF, Bayer-Monsanto, Cargill, Corteva, Federated Coop, Univar Solutions and Winfield have restricted or refused to sell product to retailer Farmer Business Network Canada, and if some of them have co-ordinated in efforts against the retailer.

The agricultural inputs retailer, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Farmer Business Network Inc., also operates a digital platform that aggregates data to let farmers see what others are paying for agricultural products.

The Competition Bureau says it obtained court orders on Tuesday as part of the ongoing investigation that requires the manufacturers and wholesalers to produce relevant records and written information.

It says there is no conclusion of wrongdoing at this time.

Corteva and BASF say they believe their conduct is in compliance with Canadian competition laws, and that they are co-operating with the investigation. Other companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 12, 2020.