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Competition Tribunal of Canada rules in favor of Rogers Shaw’s $14.8 billion deal By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ethernet cables are seen in front of the Rogers and Shaw Communications logos in this illustration taken July 8, 2022. REUTERS/Dado Rovic/Illustrations

(Reuters) – The Competition Court of Canada on Thursday approved Rogers (NYSE: Communications Inc)’s C$20 billion ($14.77 billion) bid for Shaw Communications (NYSE:) Inc, ending the companies’ 20-month-old dispute with the antitrust regulator.

The court decision clears the way to close the merger that would create Canada’s second largest telecommunications company after Bell. Canada’s Competition Bureau halted the merger – one of the country’s largest – on the grounds that it would limit competition.

The two telecoms companies, which are owned by Canadian families of billionaires who have battled for decades for market share, have taken their fight to Canada’s competition court, arguing that Xu faced bleak prospects absent the Rogers takeover.

In a ruling issued late Thursday, the Competition Tribunal rejected the Competition Commissioner’s application to oppose the deal, saying the deal was “not likely to prevent or significantly reduce competition”.

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The committee also ruled that the proposed transaction was unlikely to result in a “significant increase in price” or a decrease in service, quality or innovation.

The deal is seen as a test case for Canada’s antitrust bureau’s ability to boost competition in a country where customers and advocates have complained about market concentration from industries ranging from telecoms to banking.

Competition Commissioner Matthew Boswell said in a statement, “I am extremely disappointed that the Court has rejected our application to block a merger between Rogers and Shaw. We are carefully considering our next steps.”

The two companies had previously proposed selling Shaw’s Freedom Mobile Inc. to Quebecor Inc. to facilitate the merger, but the bureau rejected this, saying that Quebecor was not a viable competitor to the combined entity.

Rogers Shaw and Quebecor are now waiting for Canadian Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s approval to transfer Freedom Mobile’s spectrum license to Quebecor. In October, he hinted he intended to agree to the sale as long as the telecom operator held Freedom Mobile’s assets for at least 10 years and kept prices comparable to their current levels in Quebec, which are 20% lower than in Ontario and Western Canada.

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The proposed deal was announced in March 2021, when the Alberta-based Shaw family decided to sell the company to Rogers for C$40.5 per share. Rogers said it will invest C$2.5 billion to build a 5G network in western Canada and spend another C$1 billion connecting rural and remote indigenous communities.

Rogers and Shaw did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

($1 = 1.3544 Canadian dollars)

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Red Flags That Your Spouse Is Hiding Money (And What To Do About It)

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Marriage can be hard enough without one spouse hiding money from the other.

When financial infidelity occurs in the form of “hidden cash,” a marriage or a live-forever relationship can easily be ended.

The truth is About 30% of American couples suffer from financial infidelity. Other evidence shows that more than 75% of couples describe the hidden money situation as negative and common 10% of these scenarios end in divorce.

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US judge orders Norwegian Cruise Line to pay $110m for use of Cuba port By Reuters

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© Reuters. Norwegian American Airlines cruise ship Marina arrives in Havana Bay, Cuba on March 9, 2017. REUTERS/Alexander Meneghini/File/File Photo

Written by Brian Ellsworth

MIAMI (Reuters) – Norwegian Shipping Line (NYSE) has to pay $110 million in compensation for the use of a port confiscated by the Cuban government in 1960, a US judge said Friday, marking a significant milestone for Cuban Americans. Who are seeking reparations for the Cold War era. Assets confiscation.

The decision by US District Judge Beth Bloom in Miami follows her decision in March that use of the Havana Cruise Terminal constituted smuggling of forfeited property belonging to the plaintiff, Delaware-registered Havana Docks Corp.

The decision read: “The judgment is made in favor of Plaintiff Havana Docks Corporation and against Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Ltd.”

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“The plaintiff was awarded $109,848,747.87 in damages,” it says, adding that the Norwegian must also pay an additional $3 million in legal fees and costs.

Norwegian Cruise Line did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has sharply criticized the Helms-Burton Act, calling it an extraterritorial violation of international law.

Havana Docks also sued Carnival Cruise Lines (NYSE: ), Royal Caribbean (NYSE:) and MSC under the Helms-Burton Act, which allows US citizens to sue over the use of property seized in Cuba after 1959.

The ruling could fuel more lawsuits by Cuban exiles pursuing claims, worth $2 billion, according to one estimate, over asset seizures under late Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

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It may also serve as a reminder to multinational companies of the complexities that can come with doing business in Cuba.

In 2016, US cruise ships began traveling to Cuba for the first time in decades after a détente negotiated by former President Barack Obama eased some provisions of a Cold War US embargo.

But the Trump administration in 2019 ordered a halt to all such cruises amid efforts to pressure Cuba over its support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Washington’s ideological foe.

The Trump administration has also allowed US citizens to sue third parties for using property seized by Cuban authorities, a provision of the Helms-Burton Act that every previous president has waived since the law was passed in 1996.

Havana Docs says Cuba, which has been under a US trade embargo for decades, has never compensated it for taking the drug.

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The four cruise lines sued in 2019 in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Bloom in March held the companies liable for damages under the Helms-Burton Act, also known as the Libertad Act.

According to the US-Cuban Economic and Trade Council, a nonprofit organization that provides information on relations between the two countries, 5,913 validated claims related to property seized in Cuba represent an estimated liability of nearly $2 billion.

Forty-four lawsuits have been filed under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, the organization says.

“For the current plaintiffs of Cuban descent, (the decision) will give them a moment of relief,” said John Cavulich, the group’s president. “It will give them a moment to say ‘You can run but you can’t hide,’” Cavulich said.

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Is a Royal Caribbean or Carnival beverage package worth it?

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An all-inclusive beverage package that gives you access to beer, wine, liquor, bottled water, soda, specialty coffee, and even shakes/juices may cost more than your cruise fare.

This is especially true right now when many cruise cabins are being sold at discounted prices while the drinks package prices have gone up.

Deciding whether to purchase a drink package is a challenge because you have to estimate whether you will be drinking enough to cover the cost. Or, more importantly, whether you’d spend more if you decided not to purchase a drink package.



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