Competition Bureau requires significant divestitures in Sobeys/Safeway deal

OTTAWA, October 22, 2013 — The Competition Bureau announced today that it has reached a Consent Agreement with Sobeys Inc. to remedy competition issues related to Sobeys’ proposed acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Canada Safeway. The Consent Agreement will require the divestiture of 23 stores and as such will preserve competition for the retail sale of groceries in Western Canada.

This Consent Agreement, filed with the Competition Tribunal today, follows an extensive review of the proposed transaction during which the Bureau concluded that the acquisition would likely result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in the retail supply of a full-line of grocery products in certain areas in Western Canada. The retail stores to be divested are located in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. A full list of the stores to be divested can be seen in the Position Statement.

"I am confident this agreement will ensure that Canadian consumers continue to benefit from competitive prices for a wide selection of grocery products," said John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition. "I commend the parties for their stellar cooperation with the Bureau throughout our review of the proposed transaction."

Mergers in Canada are subject to review by the Bureau under the Competition Act to ensure that they will not result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition. The merger review process involves collecting information from, and conducting interviews with, a wide range of industry participants, including the parties, suppliers, competitors, customers and industry experts.

For additional information on the Bureau’s review of this transaction, please consult the Position Statement.

The Consent Agreement will be available on the Tribunal's website.

The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.


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