FP | | Jul 28, 2022
Canada’s antitrust watchdog is looking at the cryptocurrency world, too
— a sign of both the increasing relevancy of that space and of the more active posture of the bureau under new leadership.
- In March, WonderFi Technologies Inc., a Vancouver-based crypto outfit backed by Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, closed on its $206 million acquisition of the exchange Bitbuy. Just a month later, WonderFI announced that it had entered into an agreement to buy Coinberry, another trading platform, in a $38.5 million deal.
- So, the Competition Bureau came knocking.
- The watchdog chose not to oppose the Coinberry acquisition, which closed in July, but according to WonderFi spokesman Binu Koshy, it was the first time the bureau had reviewed a crypto deal.
“WonderFi was also notified that every future acquisition would require such a review,” Koshy said in an email.
A Competition Bureau spokeswoman, Camilla Corrigan, said in a statement that the watchdog must be given notice for deals above a certain size: $92 million for companies being bought or $400 million for the parties combined, either in terms of valuation or the firms’ domestic revenue.
WonderFi, however, suggested that the Competition Bureau should focus its energy elsewhere. It pointed a finger at competitors — yet another merger in the world of Canadian crypto exchanges, with the Bahamas-based FTX announcing in June it would buy Calgary’s Bitvo for an undisclosed sum.
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