Government ignores advice of its own Competition Bureau in Air Canada takeover of Transat

posted on 12th February 2021 by Eddie Saunders

The government of Canada on Thursday evening approved the purchase of Transat by Air Canada, without significant remedies.

“This decision shows blatant disregard for all Canadians who believe in healthy competition,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “When Canadians look to explore the world and reunite with family and friends once again, they will face fewer choices and higher fares.”

The government’s own Competition Bureau stated in regards to the proposed purchase, “Eliminating the rivalry between these airlines would result in increased prices, less choice, decreases in service and a significant reduction in travel by Canadians on a variety of routes where their existing networks overlap.”

“It is hard to imagine a deal as anti-competitive in any industry where the number one player buys number three without meaningful remedies,” continued Mr. Sims. “This is a serious setback to Canada’s economy. The Competition Bureau themselves described such cosmetic remedies as inadequate. Canadians should be profoundly disappointed.”