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Ottawa pulls $1.2M in rebates from John Deere over lawn-tractor pricing

Tue Oct 19, 7:25 PM ET

OTTAWA (CP) - John Deere Ltd., accused of clipping buyers of lawn tractors, will give 8,600 customers rebates totalling $1.2 million under an agreement with the federal Competition Bureau.

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The bureau said Tuesday that the five per cent rebates - about $138 per buyer - arise from an investigation into allegations that John Deere discouraged its dealers last year from selling the tractors at below suggested list prices. "While John Deere Ltd. was not charged with an offence and has not admitted any liability, it has agreed to the voluntary rebates to address the commissioner's concerns," the bureau stated.

Under the price maintenance provisions of the Competition Act, it is a criminal offence to discourage dealer discounts.

"When businesses maintain prices, they distort market forces and consumers pay more," stated Colette Downie, acting deputy commissioner of competition.

"This landmark resolution is the first time a price maintenance investigation has resulted in direct restitution to consumers."
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