Beer drinkers in Alberta might be interested in an extended fight between Miller Brewing Co. and Molson Coors Canada over the rights to distribute Miller Genuine Draft. Molson is charged with distributing the product throughout the Canadian market, but Miller wants to discontinue the agreement.
Both sides presented arguments in an Alberta courtroom over a highly publicized fracking and contamination of groundwater case in mid-April. The $33 million lawsuit stems from a property owner who is claiming that a shale gas driller, the Energy Resources Conservation Board and Alberta Environment contaminated her well water. She further alleges that the government did not properly investigate the matter. The property owner charges that Encana, the driller, acted negligently and that the ERCB violated her freedoms. She further claimed bad faith on the part of the Alberta Environment.
Alberta franchisees may be interested in following the latest developments in how a bankruptcy filing by a parent company in the United States could affect them. Avenue Capital Group, the U.S. parent company for the Canadian Quiznos franchisor, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 14. The Quiznos chain in the U.S. is struggling with $570 million in debt and is undergoing a restructuring plan. The financial troubles there could spill over the border into Canada.
After the owner of a furniture company alleged that credit card fees are making it too expensive for her to run her business, the British Columbia Supreme Court agreed that she could pursue a class-action lawsuit against 11 banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions. She says that those companies are involved in a conspiracy because merchants must pay higher fees on gold, platinum and premium credit cards but cannot legally tack additional fees onto those customers. This forces sellers to bear the brunt of those fees or increase all their prices. Reports say that the fees cost $5 billion annually.