The Competition Bureau concerned about the agreement between WestJet and Sunwing

The Competition Bureau says WestJet’s proposed acquisition of Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines will likely substantially lessen or prevent competition in the sale of vacation packages to Canadians.

The regulator says eliminating rivalry between integrated airlines and tour operators would likely lead to higher prices, less choice and less service for Canadians.

It also says it would likely lead to a significant reduction in travel by Canadians on a variety of routes where their existing travel networks overlap.

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WestJet in March announced a plan to buy Sunwing, a move that would bolster its vacation travel business. Financial terms of the deal, which would see Sunwing shareholders become WestJet Group shareholders, were not disclosed.

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The regulator’s concerns were set out in a report to the Minister of Transport. Transport Canada is also conducting a public interest review of the proposed transaction.

The final decision on the agreement will be taken by Cabinet, based on a recommendation from the Minister.

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