The Bloc Québécois has sent a letter to the European Commission, which is studying the proposed acquisition of Air Transat by Air Canada, to express its concerns about competition.
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Transport spokesperson Xavier Barsalou-Duval argues that the transaction, if it goes forward, will have negative effects for both Quebec and the European Union.
“This would have a direct effect on prices in addition to reducing the supply and choices available to consumers. Even more serious, it would place Air Canada in a dominant position vis-à-vis other air carriers, ”he wrote, according to a press release relayed Thursday by the Bloc Québécois which opposes this transaction.
In the letter sent to the Executive Vice-President at the Directorate General of the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager, Mr. Barsalou-Duval also maintains that the Board of Directors of Air Transat has hidden from its shareholders “the existence of” an offer other than that of Air Canada which would be a valid alternative and make it possible to preserve competition in the sector ”.
He also criticizes Transport Canada for a lack of transparency for having refused to share information on the evaluation of the transaction with its political party and for having only sent heavily redacted documents.
In December, the shareholders of Transat again approved the transaction aimed at bringing their company into the fold of Air Canada, despite the filing of an offer from Gestion MTRHP, the investment firm of the President and Chief Executive Officer. management of Quebecor, Pierre Karl Péladeau.
Air Canada announced the acquisition of Transat in 2019 at a cost of $ 18 per share, a price since drastically reduced to just $ 5 per share due to the pandemic that has hit airlines hard.
The transaction is still on the desk of the federal government, which must decide whether to approve it in the coming weeks. Several voices have expressed fears in view of this merger, including that of the Competition Bureau which believes that the transaction would result in higher flight prices for travelers.