Canadian Court Orders Agriculture Firms To Hand Over Docs In Antitrust Probe

A Canadian federal court has ordered a group of major agriculture companies to hand over records and communications as part of an antitrust probe sparked by allegations certain businesses tried to block online farm-supply startup Farmers Business Network Inc (FBN).

In a series of court orders dispatched on Tuesday, Canadian Federal Court Justice Denis Gascon said he was satisfied Canada’s Competition Bureau was conducting an antitrust probe and that the named companies – which include Bayer AG , Corteva Inc, and BASF – would have or were likely to have information relevant to the inquiry.

Farm supply wholesalers, including Cargill Inc, Univar Solutions Inc and Federated Co-Operatives Limited, have also been ordered to produce records. The companies have between 60 to 90 calendar days to comply, depending on the specific order.

Last week, the Canadian Competition Bureau confirmed an inquiry into certain agriculture companies was underway.

BASF, Corteva, Bayer and Cargill said on Thursday they would cooperate with the Competition Bureau’s investigation, which was launched following a complaint from California-based online retailer Farmers Business Network Inc (FBN)

The Competition Bureau had told the court in Jan. 30 filings that it was seeking records and communications from the seed, pesticide and wholesaling companies which are alleged to have stopped supplying FBN’s newly acquired Canadian business in 2018.

The alleged conduct by the agriculture companies under inquiry, the regulator told the court, may also impede or delay FBN’s successful expansion into the Canadian marketplace and/or cause the company to exit altogether.

Full Content: The London Free Press

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