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Agreement preserves competition in the retail sale of hardware products and building materials in rural Quebec

OTTAWA, November 1, 2013 — The Competition Bureau announced today that it has reached a Consent Agreement with La Coop fédérée (LCF) and Groupe BMR (BMR) to remedy competition concerns related to LCF’s proposed acquisition of minority interests in BMR. The Consent Agreement will require certain store franchisees in four local markets in the province of Quebec to find new banners under which to operate. The parties are also required to continue supplying the stores on competitive terms until either a new franchisor is found or the end of 2014.

This Consent Agreement, filed with the Competition Tribunal today, follows a review of the proposed transaction during which the Bureau concluded that the acquisition would likely result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in the retail sale of hardware products and building materials in Saint-Pamphile, Saint-Cyprien, Lac-Mégantic and Montmagny, Quebec.

"I am pleased that an agreement was reached with the parties that resolve our concerns in respect to this proposed transaction," said John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition. "This agreement was designed to ensure that consumers in these regions of Quebec will continue to have access to competitive prices and product choice."

Mergers in Canada are subject to review by the Bureau under the Competition Act to ensure that they will not result in a substantial lessening and/or prevention of competition. The merger review process involves collecting information from, and conducting interviews with, a wide range of industry participants, including the parties, suppliers, competitors, customers and industry experts.

The Consent Agreement will be available on the Tribunal's website.

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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