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Customers protest after Loblaws demands ID before sending $25 gift card for bread price fixing
March 13, 2018
1:33 pm
Bill
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Loonie, I wasn't talking about Loblaws and Weston, as you said they have already admitted it, that's a done deal.

What I'm saying is there's no similar conclusion that can be drawn, or even inferred, as of today for Metro and Sobeys groups.

March 13, 2018
1:37 pm
AltaRed
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And even less so with WalMart Supercentres, Co-op such as Calgary Co-op, etc. I don't buy the argument that 'everyone' will up prices (including in-store bakeries) to the highest common denominator. It is often the other way around, i.e. guarantees of downward price matching, especially in this day of smartphones and web surfing.

March 13, 2018
2:02 pm
Loonie
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Bill said
Loonie, I wasn't talking about Loblaws and Weston, as you said they have already admitted it, that's a done deal.

What I'm saying is there's no similar conclusion that can be drawn, or even inferred, as of today for Metro and Sobeys groups.ย ย 

I understand that. My original statement was that Loblaws had to have a collusion partner. As that partner has now been shown to be within the Weston empire, it's obviously not Sobey's or Metro. What the latter two may be doing internally is unknown, although Weston seemed to be accusing them.

March 13, 2018
5:26 pm
Norman1
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Loblaws stores and Weston Bakeries can't be colluding. They are owned by the same parent company.

If I owned a bakery and a grocery store, I can legally dictate what my grocery store pays my bakery for bread. I can also legally dictate what my grocery store retails the bread for.

There is no competition issue as my bakery and my grocery store are not two competitors.

March 13, 2018
5:33 pm
SavingIsGood
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Not only you had to provide DOB and full address, now they want your utility bill (account number). One step closer to identity theft.

I pity poor souls who have to buy chemically enhanced mass, full of who knows what, staying fresh for weeks called 'bread'...
I bake mine; simple ingredients: water, little bit of oil, sugar, salt, whole wheat flour, touch of yeast. Oil is NOT 'vegetable' piss nor GMO canola. 'Sugar' is either honey or brown organic. Well, whole wheat flour can be questionable but way better than 'bleached' stuff.
MY bread cost about 30-40 cents per 900g including cost of machine which lasts about 10 years.
Happy chewing...

March 13, 2018
6:48 pm
Bill
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"My original statement was that Loblaws had to have a collusion partner", i.e. singular. Loonie, you in fact didn't say that, your original statement referred to "others" (plural):"None of the others admitted it as far as I know." You were including WalMart, Sobeys, Metro, etc. Whatever.

In any event, Weston Foods (bakery) and Loblaw are separate corporations, the first owned and the second controlled by George Weston Limited (owned by the Weston family). Norman1 is correct - there can only be collusion between competitors, not the case here.

March 13, 2018
7:32 pm
Doug
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Loonie said
I will stand corrected on Loblaw and Weston being companies that appear to have colluded with each other but they are corporately intertwined. According to wikipedia, Weston is the "parent company" of Loblaw.

While I'm sure Galen Jr wished to avoid Conrad Black's fate, he may have also gotten some clear guidance from his parents. Let's not forget that his mom was Lt-Gov of Ontario not so long ago. Always the epitome of fashion and all the elegance money can buy, I'm sure she would not have wanted to grace the courthouse steps to support her family.ย ย 

Oh, didn't realize you didn't know that, Loonie. Yep, the Westons still have both economic and voting control of both companies and they do it without multiple voting shares - rare these days! It's just too bad I don't like some of their business practices. ๐Ÿ™‚

Weston used to own over 50% of Loblaw, but the Shoppers Drug Mart acquisition, I think, diluted their ownership to around 45%. It's still, effectively, a subsidiary, it's just not a wholly-owned one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Weston and Loblaw together exercise ~81-83% economic ownership in Choice Properties REIT, too, though it'll be interesting how much that gets reduced with their pending buyout of Canada's oldest, and arguably one of the best run, REIT: Canadian REIT (or CREIT for short). Look up what shopping centre(s) CREIT (or Choice) own near you.

Cheers,
Doug

Full and Fair Disclosure: I own units in CT REIT, American Hotel Income Properties REIT, and Pure Industrial REIT, though, sadly, the latter is due to be bought out by an affiliate of Blackstone Group. ๐Ÿ™

March 13, 2018
10:26 pm
Loonie
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Bill said
"My original statement was that Loblaws had to have a collusion partner", i.e. singular. Loonie, you in fact didn't say that, your original statement referred to "others" (plural):"None of the others admitted it as far as I know." You were including WalMart, Sobeys, Metro, etc. Whatever.

In any event, Weston Foods (bakery) and Loblaw are separate corporations, the first owned and the second controlled by George Weston Limited (owned by the Weston family). Norman1 is correct - there can only be collusion between competitors, not the case here.ย ย 

I don't really want to waste everyone's time being so picky, but, since you are, here it is.
Those not interested should take a pass.

In fact, I never mentioned any companies other than those affiliated with Loblaws. It was Galen Weston himself who claimed "another major bread producer and other big grocery chains were also involved", so it is logical that the reader might speculate on who those might have been. There are only two other big grocery chains. Every news item I have seen names them. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/loblaw-parent-company-alerted-competition-watchdog-to-bread-price-fixing/article37387816/

The word "none" means, literally, "not one". Hence, "not one" of the other potential candidates admitted it. "Of the others" is a prepositional phrase modifying "not ONE". How much more singular do you want me to get?
My meaning was as I stated above. Give it up!

Norman has highlighted the source of my puzzlement in my first post. I had trouble understanding the concept of price-fixing within the same group of companies. Following Galen's lead, and given the vagueness of his use of the word "involved", I asked how this could have occurred.

In any event, we will not know what happened until the Competition Bureau has completed its investigation, perhaps longer IF any charges are laid anywhere.
So, apart from discussing the conditions around the gift card, there really isn't much that can be said right now.

I didn't apply for it as I don't recall buying this kind of bread. However, I think it's poor management to start asking for personal information of this type AFTER the application has been submitted, when no indication was given initially that it would be required.
I've certainly requested and received various rebates, refunds, rewards, contest wins, etc., and nobody ever asked me for a utility bill. They should just take their lumps, grow up, pay out, and be done with it. If they got more applications than they expected, too bad. They didin't ask for receipts and they didn't ask for ID.

To those who may be considering sending in a utility bill, I suggest you black out everything except name and address and name of utility; the rest is none of their business and is private.

March 14, 2018
4:07 am
Bill
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Loonie, thank you for clarifying you, along with Galen, are implicating other grocers. The media has not - if you read that Globe article carefully you will see no implication, other than that made by Loblaws. Maybe that's due to their care not to transgress libel laws. It's important to me to uphold innocent until proven guilty without presumption, even on a forum like this one, even if not important to you. People's & corporations' reputations can be destroyed unjustly otherwise.
Doug, you are right, George Weston Limited does not own 100% of Loblaw but it does have a controlling interest.
As far as anybody seeing that I paid Union Gas $126.38 last month to heat my home, well, not going to get up on my high-horse about that, I'm fine if the whole world knows that.

March 14, 2018
4:27 am
Loonie
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You are way out of line, Bill.
I have not named one solitary company other than those affiliated with Loblaws, except to say that Sobeys and Metro were obviously NOT involved (#23) in the Loblaw situation.
It is YOU who have named them (#13, 17, 28), along with mmlt (#12), who calls their activities "theft".

Get a grip! If you are so concerned about this issue, why don't you go after mmlt?- to whom you have been very polite and non-accusatory.

March 14, 2018
10:12 am
Top It Up
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I would've applied if I thought Galen Jr's mom, the former Lt-Gov of Ontario, "always the epitome of fashion and all the elegance money can buy," would be the one personally delivering the free $25 gift card to my door.

March 14, 2018
12:37 pm
Bill
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Loonie, alright, I'll try to clarify again: your very first post on this thread said "None of the others admitted it as far as I know." Who are the "others" (plural) you refer to?

March 14, 2018
6:10 pm
Loonie
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Now you want me to name companies which, earlier, you said it would be ethically wrong to name? (#29)

You need to re-read all my posts on this thread to understand how my thinking on the issue evolved.

March 14, 2018
6:14 pm
Bill
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Loonie, I was pretty sure you wouldn't answer my question.

March 14, 2018
6:36 pm
Loonie
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Bill said
Loonie, I was pretty sure you wouldn't answer my question.ย ย 

Then there was really no point in wasting your time and this forum's space. I've already more than obliged you by answering questions.

Go cool your heels and bother mmlt instead.

March 14, 2018
6:48 pm
Peter
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Let's return to speaking about the topic at hand, if there's anything more to say about that.

March 14, 2018
6:52 pm
Loonie
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Good idea, Peter.

March 14, 2018
7:16 pm
Doug
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Loonie said
I don't really want to waste everyone's time being so picky, but, since you are, here it is.
Those not interested should take a pass.

In fact, I never mentioned any companies other than those affiliated with Loblaws. It was Galen Weston himself who claimed "another major bread producer and other big grocery chains were also involved", so it is logical that the reader might speculate on who those might have been. There are only two other big grocery chains. Every news item I have seen names them. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/loblaw-parent-company-alerted-competition-watchdog-to-bread-price-fixing/article37387816/

The word "none" means, literally, "not one". Hence, "not one" of the other potential candidates admitted it. "Of the others" is a prepositional phrase modifying "not ONE". How much more singular do you want me to get?
My meaning was as I stated above. Give it up!

Norman has highlighted the source of my puzzlement in my first post. I had trouble understanding the concept of price-fixing within the same group of companies. Following Galen's lead, and given the vagueness of his use of the word "involved", I asked how this could have occurred.

In any event, we will not know what happened until the Competition Bureau has completed its investigation, perhaps longer IF any charges are laid anywhere.
So, apart from discussing the conditions around the gift card, there really isn't much that can be said right now.

I didn't apply for it as I don't recall buying this kind of bread. However, I think it's poor management to start asking for personal information of this type AFTER the application has been submitted, when no indication was given initially that it would be required.
I've certainly requested and received various rebates, refunds, rewards, contest wins, etc., and nobody ever asked me for a utility bill. They should just take their lumps, grow up, pay out, and be done with it. If they got more applications than they expected, too bad. They didin't ask for receipts and they didn't ask for ID.

To those who may be considering sending in a utility bill, I suggest you black out everything except name and address and name of utility; the rest is none of their business and is private.ย ย 

Bill, I agree with Loonie. You're splitting hairs here. Yes, collusion can only occur between competitors, although collusion itself isn't a crime; conspiracy is, since you're all about nuanced differences.sf-cool

As for collusion, conspiracy, etc., yes, both Weston and Loblaw were the primary colluders/co-conspirators. On that note, a wholesaler (Weston) and a retailer (Loblaw) can collude - they've accused Sobeys (a retailer) of being a willing participant. So you can't have it both ways. And, at any rate, both Weston and Loblaw have already plead guilty in exchange for immunity from prosecution. ๐Ÿ™‚

There can be no certainty any of the others will be found guilty since Weston & Loblaw control over 50% of the retail and 60-70% of the wholesale bread market. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers,
Doug

March 14, 2018
7:19 pm
Doug
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Privacy Commissioner of Canada announces preliminary investigation in to personal data collection that is potentially too intrusive relative to the nature of what's being given/requested and is welcoming public complaints. sf-cool

from Twitter:

And yes, Loonie makes a good point about asking for the data after the application has been submitted and credit report pulled! It's a $25 gift card for Christ's sake. Budget for fraud, goddammit! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Cheers,
Doug

March 14, 2018
7:29 pm
Doug
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Norman1 said
Loblaws stores and Weston Bakeries can't be colluding. They are owned by the same parent company.

If I owned a bakery and a grocery store, I can legally dictate what my grocery store pays my bakery for bread. I can also legally dictate what my grocery store retails the bread for.

There is no competition issue as my bakery and my grocery store are not two competitors.ย ย 

That's actually not true, Norman. Loblaw Companies has publicly accused Sobeys of participating in the bread price-fixing collusion/conspiracy, or made overt insinuations of same. Just because Weston owns a controlling economic interest in Loblaw Companies does not mean that they can't be participants in an industry wide collusion. Loblaw could be just as guilty as Weston.

Cheers,
Doug

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