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Canada probes paper merchants, Price-fixing complaint

Press release from the issuing company

April 14, 2003 -- (WhatTheyThink.com) Reuters reported last week that Canada's antitrust watchdog is investigating allegations of price fixing among suppliers in the multibillion dollar market for office papers. Search warrants for documents were served at Cascades, Domtar, Coast Paper and Unisource Canada. Reuters said the warrants are sealed and officials with the Competition Bureau in Ottawa declined to discuss details of the investigation. Robert McCrone, assistant deputy commissioner of competition, criminal matters branch, told Reuters that they are still determining if there are enough facts to establish a case. The companies said they are cooperating with investigators. "The allegation is based on the assumption that Cascades Resources and its competitors would have colluded to unduly reduce market competition between paper merchants in Canada," Cascades said in a statement. Print Action, an industry trade magazine serving the Canadian printing market said the paper market in Canada is worth $2 billion. The four companies account for nearly all office and commercial printing paper sold in Canada.