Competition Bureau Canada

Competition Bureau Canada

April 13, 2012 13:33 ET

Suncor (Sunoco) Energy Pleads Guilty to Price-Fixing in Belleville, Ontario

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 13, 2012) - The Competition Bureau announced that Suncor Energy Products Inc. (Sunoco) pleaded guilty today to fixing the price of retail gasoline from May to November 2007 in Belleville, Ontario. The Ontario Superior Court sentenced Sunoco to pay a fine of $500,000.

"We are committed to pursuing those who engage in anti-competitive behaviour that harms Canadian businesses and consumers," said Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition. "Illegal agreements between competitors to fix prices deny consumers the benefits of competitive prices and choice."

On March 20, 2012, Pioneer Energy LP, Canadian Tire Corporation, and Mr. Gas pleaded guilty to fixing the price of retail gasoline from May to November 2007 in Kingston and Brockville, Ontario, and were fined a total of $2 million.

Price-fixing conspiracies are difficult to detect and prove. High or identical prices are not in and of themselves evidence of criminal activity. There must be evidence that competitors have made an illegal agreement to set those prices. When there are substantiated allegations of wrongdoing in the marketplace, the Bureau will not hesitate to take action.

For further information on the investigation, price-fixing and the Bureau's investigative tools, please consult our backgrounder regarding the March 20th announcement.

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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