Competition Bureau Canada

Competition Bureau Canada

February 19, 2009 14:39 ET

Competition Bureau Obtains Prohibition Orders Against School Bus Operators

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 19, 2009) - The Competition Bureau announced today that it has obtained two prohibition orders against 14 companies and 18 individuals operating school bus services in and around St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Bureau's inquiry focused on allegations that the parties made agreements to share the market and fix prices for school bus services, and had engaged in bid-rigging activities between 2001 and 2003. These alleged activities could have prevented the school board from benefitting from competitive pricing for school bus services in the Eastern School District of Newfoundland and Labrador.

"This negotiated resolution will help ensure that the public benefits from competitive prices for school bus services," said John Pecman, Acting Senior Deputy Commissioner of Competition. "The prohibition orders from the court address the Bureau's concerns."

The Federal Court ordered the companies and their directors to implement and maintain measures to enable them to comply with the conspiracy and bid-rigging provisions of the Competition Act. The parties were also ordered to pay a portion of the Bureau's costs.

Under the conspiracy provision of the Act, it is a criminal offence to agree on prices or share markets where it results in a serious lessening of competition. Bid-rigging is a criminal offence where bidders agree not to compete or to submit bids in cases where the agreement has not been made known to the tendering authority. Their goal is to thwart the competitive tendering process and inflate prices to purchasers.

The Competition Bureau is an independent agency that contributes to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice.

Contact Information

  • For media enquiries:
    Competition Bureau
    External Relations and Public Affairs Branch
    Phil Norris
    Communications Officer
    819-953-8230
    or
    For general enquiries:
    Competition Bureau
    Information Centre
    819-997-4282
    1-800-348-5358