AC can offer $50 a share if they want and get Transat’s shareholders approval of the same but it means nothing until the regulators have had their say and have laid out the terms and conditions of the merger.
It’s an election year. It may take a while. There’s no urgency as Transat is very much a going concern.
Given the significant impact the merger will have on the competitive landscape within Canada when it comes to domestic TATL competition, especially outside typical gateway markets, not to mention the virtual eradication of competition on n/s options for sun flying from Quebec and a serious reduction in consumer choice elsewhere in Canada, It is unlikely the deal will go ahead without some pretty significant undertakings and restrictions demanded by the regulators.
It remains to be seen whether such undertakings would be deemed palatable by AC. Until we see more clarity on this, it’s hard to get particularly excited about the proposed deal.
Never heard of "domestic TATL competition". Whatever it is, it's irrelevant to Competition Bureau's considerations. Their job is to look at competition in the market writ large, not how many "Canadian" airlines Canadians can choose from on routes that might have foreign alternatives.
Either way, putting too much faith in CB's influence. Canadian aviation isn't like other sectors CB looks at. They're longstanding proponents of Open Skies, yet Canada still has one of the the most restrictive approaches to international competition in the developed world. There is far higher level of corporate influence/regulatory capture in Canadian aviation than in other sectors (ask the pilots here about the revised flight duty rules). I expect that CB's review will amount to little more than checking the procedural box. They will offer recommendations. Those recommendations will, more likely than not, be ignored.
In the unlikely event that it becomes an election issue, the argument in favour has already written itself. It'll be an emotive appeal to "save (CA/QC) jobs", as opposed to less tangible issues like prices (nobody knows how much they will go up, and everyone likes thinking they're charitable enough to pay a "little" more to save someone's job when they can't see the price tag) or competition, notwithstanding the fact that those jobs will go in the weeks/months that follow regardless.