January 18th, 2021

Competition Bureau ends investigation into Postmedia, Torstar newspaper closures


By The Canadian Press on January 7, 2021.

TORONTO – Canada’s competition watchdog says it will not take further action on conspiracy allegations surrounding a deal between Postmedia and Torstar.

The Competition Bureau says it has closed its investigation into Postmedia Inc. and Torstar Corp.’s deal to swap 41 newspapers.

The deal, quickly followed by the closure of 36 of the papers, raised concerns it violated the Competition Act.

The regulator says it has been reviewing evidence since November 2017, including sending officers to search Toronto offices of Postmedia, Torstar and its Metroland Media Group subsidiary and examine six current or former Torstar workers under oath.

But the Competition Bureau says no further action was warranted on Postmedia and Torstar’s deal, which affected mostly community and daily newspapers in eastern and southern Ontario.

The regulator says it must find clear evidence of a price-fixing agreement or a deal to reduce the supply of a product or service before it can recommend prosecuting a case of criminal conspiracy.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 7, 2021.

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