30 Mar 2023 Cases

Compass Lexecon client WestJet obtains approval for acquisition of Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines

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On March 10, 2022, the Government of Canada approved the acquisition of Sunwing Vacations and Sunwing Airlines by WestJet Airlines Ltd., subject to conditions. In determining that the transaction was in the public interest, “the government considered a broad range of factors, such as levels of service, social and economic implications, the financial health of the air transportation sector, and competition.”

Compass Lexecon expert, Dr. Bryan Keating, submitted a report and made presentations to the Canadian Competition Bureau and Transport Canada demonstrating that consumers would benefit from the transaction. He showed that WestJet and Sunwing offer substantially differentiated services while facing substantial competition, and that any upward pricing pressure as a result of the acquisition was likely to be small. In addition, Dr. Keating quantified the substantial consumer benefits generated by combining the complementary assets of WestJet and Sunwing.

Dr. Keating was supported by a team led by John Hore that included Arela Haluci, Mario Escarcega, Ziyu Fan, Chris He, and Steven Singer. Compass Lexecon worked closely with David Rosner, Josh Zelikovitz, and Devin Persaud of Goodmans LLP (representing WestJet) and Josh Krane, Josh Chad, and Neil Campbell of McMillan LLP (representing Sunwing).

A new version of Compass Lexecon is available.