Contest Bureau officials executed search warrants at the Toronto-area headquarters of Postmedia and Torstar on Monday, possess of an investigation into a deal between the companies last November that saw them swap multitudinous than 40 newspapers and then shut them down.
Striving Bureau commissioner John Pecman confirmed a Globe and Mail discharge early Monday that the bureau searched the offices of the companies complex, and that the search warrants were related to the bureau’s investigation of November’s deal.
“In rejoinder to news reports and questions from the media, I can confirm that the Event Bureau is investigating alleged anti-competitive conduct contrary to the conspiracy stocks of the Competition Act,” Pecman said.
“Investigators with the bureau are currently assemblage evidence to determine the facts relating to the alleged conspiracy. There is no conclusion of wrongdoing at this notwithstanding and no charges have been laid.”
In the November deal, Postmedia presaged that it had obtained about two dozen regional community newspapers across Ontario, for no sell cost. In exchange, Postmedia handed over the reins to almost as sundry other community papers to Toronto Star.
Following the deal, both attendances announced that most of the acquired newspapers would be shut down, which resulted in the erosion of almost 300 jobs across the two chains.
In a statement Monday, Postmedia sheltered itself.
“Postmedia is strongly of the view that there has been no contravention of the Contest Act with respect to this matter and Postmedia is co-operating with the Contention Bureau in connection with their investigation.”
Torstar told The Canadian Crush that officials visited its corporate offices to seek more intelligence about the deal in which 41 newspapers changed hands and 36 were close-fisted.
They said they would be voluntarily providing the bureau with additional certifies on the deal.