What constitutes “Unfair Advantage”?

From Canadian government opposition Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff:

On Wednesday, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff told The Canadian Press that he believes RIM should be able to sit down and negotiate with Nortel.

"I don’t think they’re seeking an unfair advantage," he said.

From Nortel:

Nortel had been in discussions with RIM regarding a related transaction but those discussions are currently on hold. Since the approval of the bidding procedures, Nortel has engaged with a number of potential bidders regarding the CDMA and LTE assets, including RIM. Other parties moved expeditiously to comply with the court approved procedures to become qualified bidders, and RIM did not object to the approval of these procedures during the court process. It was not until July 15 that RIM submitted a letter to Nortel asking to be a qualified bidder and, since that time, Nortel has diligently attempted to work with RIM on acceptable confidentiality terms relating to Nortel’s valuable intellectual property assets. RIM has refused, however, to comply with the court approved procedures.

From RIM:

On Tuesday afternoon, RIM said the deadline was irrelevant.

“RIM does not consider the process closed,” the Waterloo-based company said after the deadline passed. “Nortel could seek to extend the deadline and the Government of Canada can intervene in a way that forces Nortel to reopen the process. Canada’s economic and national security considerations justify further review.”

So, ignoring deadlines set by the court, refusing to comply with court approved procedures, starting a war by media a couple of days before the auction closes, and involving the government by invoking trumped up "national security" charges and concern about lost Canadian investment. This from a company that didn’t seem that concerned about repaying a $38 million loan [PDF] from Technology Partnerships Canada.

I wonder what would constitute "unfair advantage" for Mr. Ignatieff?


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