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Canada's Competition Bureau investigating agriculture companies -WSJ

Feb 6 (Reuters) - Canadian antitrust authorities are investigating agriculture companies including Bayer AG , Corteva Inc and BASF, over allegations that they sought to block an online farm-supply startup, the Wall Street Journal reported here on Thursday.

Canada’s Competition Bureau plans to seek records and communications from the companies as well as from farm-supply wholesalers such as Cargill Inc and Univar Solutions Inc, the WSJ reported, citing documents filed on Jan. 30 in Canadian federal court.

The seeds and agricultural chemicals companies allegedly stopped supplying Farmers Business Network Inc’s (FBN) newly acquired Canadian business in 2018, and some company officials urged farmers and others in the industry not to do business with the company, according to the report.

Canadian antitrust authorities are probing how major farm suppliers responded after FBN in March 2018 acquired a Saskatchewan-based agricultural retail business, which FBN planned to use as an entry point to introduce its platform in Canada, the WSJ reported.

The companies were not immediately available for Reuters’ request for comment.

Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva