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Nov 22, 2017

HBC says Competition Bureau's mattress pricing probe has cost it US$425,000

Hudson's Bay Company HBC Toronto

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OTTAWA -- Hudson's Bay Co. (HBC.TO) says it has spent more than US$425,000 to date to comply with demands for documents from Canada's competition watchdog as it investigates alleged deceptive pricing practices.

The retailer says in a filing with the Competition Tribunal that it has invested more than 6,500 person-hours to produce 37,000 documents in response to the Competition Bureau's complaint made last February.

In the filing, HBC says a recent request for more documents is unreasonable because they would be dated after the latest alleged offense mentioned in the original complaint.

The bureau claims that HBC offered mattresses and foundations sold together at grossly inflated regular prices so that it could then claim deep discounts on the sleep sets to suggest significant deals for customers.

It accuses the company of engaging in that practice throughout Canada between March 2013 and January 2015 and is seeking an administrative monetary penalty and costs of the proceeding, along with assurances the practices will stop.

HBC denied its pricing practices were deceptive in a filing of defence in April.