Competition Bureau challenges a merger between gas retailers Parkland and Pioneer

April 30, 2015 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

To protect consumers from higher gasoline prices, the Competition Bureau is challenging Parkland’s acquisition of Pioneer gas stations or supply contracts in 14 communities in Ontario and Manitoba.

Today, the Bureau filed an application with the Competition Tribunal for an order prohibiting the parties from proceeding with the transaction in the following 14 communities:

  • Aberfoyle, Ont.
  • Allanburg, Ont.
  • Bancroft, Ont.
  • Chelmsford/Azilda, Ont.
  • Gananoque, Ont.
  • Hanover, Ont.
  • Innisfil, Ont.
  • Kapuskasing, Ont.
  • Port Perry, Ont.
  • Tillsonburg, Ont.
  • Welland, Ont.
  • Lundar, Man.
  • Neepawa, Man.
  • Warren, Man.

The Bureau will also be seeking an injunction requiring that Parkland preserve and operate independently the assets to be acquired from Pioneer in these communities until the Tribunal reaches its decision in this matter.

The Bureau's review concluded that the parties' post‑merger market shares in these communities would be between 39 and 100 percent. As these markets become more concentrated, the likelihood of price coordination between remaining retailers increases.

The Bureau's applications will be available shortly on the Competition Tribunal's website.

Quick facts

  • Parkland proposes to acquire from Pioneer 181 Pioneer corporate stations and 212 supply agreements in Ontario and Manitoba.
  • Mergers in Canada are subject to review by the Bureau to ensure they do not result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition.
  • In Canada, Parkland operates or supplies close to 700 retail gas stations in Canada under the Fas Gas Plus, Race Trac Gas and Esso brands.
  • In Canada, Pioneer operates under the Pioneer, Esso and Top Valu brands.
  • Over the years, the Bureau has taken action in the gasoline and other petroleum products industry, including prosecutions for price‑fixing, a merger review that resulted in the sale of many gasoline stations, as well as interventions before regulatory boards.

Quote

"Taking action in this matter demonstrates the Bureau’s ongoing vigilance when it comes to the sale of retail gasoline. Our review concluded that Parkland’s acquisition of Pioneer could harm competition in the retail gasoline industry in certain communities in Ontario and Manitoba. As we were not able to come to an agreement with Parkland and Pioneer to resolve our concerns, we are seeking to block the merger in these communities in order to protect competition for Canadians."
John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition

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