Competition preserved in pharmacy distribution and franchising services in Quebec
April 23, 2018 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau
The Competition Bureau announced today that it has reached an agreement with METRO Inc. to address competition concerns in the market for pharmacy distribution and franchising services in certain local markets in Quebec arising from Metro’s proposed acquisition of The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.
The Bureau’s review found that the merger would likely have led to substantially higher prices or decreases in services for consumers related to the purchase of medications and other pharmacy products in eight regions in Quebec.
To address these concerns, Metro has agreed to sell properties or leases to an alternate distributor and franchising services provider and to take steps to terminate franchise, distribution and associated agreements related to pharmacies located in the following markets in Quebec:
- La Baie; and
- La Sarre.
The Competition Bureau will issue a position statement regarding this proposed transaction in the near future.
On October 2, 2017 Metro and Jean Coutu announced that they had reached an agreement whereby Metro would acquire Jean Coutu for $4.5 billion.
Metro operates or supplies more than 600 grocery stores in Ontario and Quebec operating under the Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics banners, among others.
Metro also supplies more than 250 drugstores and pharmacies in Ontario and Quebec, including franchise pharmacies operating under the Brunet banner.
Jean Coutu operates or supplies a network of more than 400 drugstores across Quebec, parts of Ontario, and the Maritimes.
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