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Competition Bureau begins investigation of Postmedia, Torstar

The Ottawa-based Competition Bureau executed searches at the Toronto offices of newspaper companies Postmedia, Torstar and Metroland on March 12. The searches were in connection with a transaction announced in November 2017 by which Postmedia acquired 22 of Torstar's community newspapers, while Torstar acquired 15 of Postmedia's community papers and two commuter papers. Postmedia then announced plans to close all of its acquired properties except two, while Torstar announced plans to close 11 of its acquired properties.

"In response to news reports and questions from the media, I can confirm that the Competition Bureau is investigating alleged anti-competitive conduct contrary to the conspiracy provisions of the Competition Act," said John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition. "The bureau is also examining this matter under the merger provisions of the act. Investigators with the bureau are currently gathering evidence to determine the facts relating to the alleged conspiracy. There is no conclusion of wrongdoing at this time and no charges have been laid. Should there be evidence of a violation of the act, we will not hesitate to take appropriate action."

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