This article explains price fixing and provides a few examples. Although it is a little dated, it is valuable background to a story still in the news — Loblaw’s revelation that they had been fixing the price of a wide range of packaged bread products for 14 years until 2015 in what they said was an industry wide conspiracy.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Marketing, law, retail, pricing

Key Questions to Explore:

  • Why do companies attempt to fix prices?
Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

Students learn what price fixing is and why companies do it.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Ask students what they think price fixing is.
  • Using Think-Pair-Share, ask students to identify examples of price fixing that they are aware of for certain and some that they suspect.
  • Distribute the article for reading.
  • Using Think-Pair-Share again, have students discuss the difference between their own thinking and the practice of price fixing outlined in the article.

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Have students write a reflective note on why a company would choose to engage in price fixing.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

  • Students understand the concept of price fixing and the consequences attached to it.

Confirming Activity:

  • In pairs, have students prepare a diagram describing a price fixing scheme, including its impact on the company and its customers.