Sotos, Tyr, McMillan involved in conspiracy and bid-rigging lawsuit against Google, Facebook

Federal Court roundup includes proposed class action by veterans represented by Murphy Battista

Sotos, Tyr, McMillan involved in conspiracy and bid-rigging lawsuit against Google, Facebook

The Federal Court heard a suit filed by an Alberta newspaper company against Google and Facebook this week, as well as a proposed class action involving armed forces veterans and supplementary retirement benefits. In the Federal Court of Appeal, a dispute involving persons affected by the Sixties Scoop was heard.

Federal Court

Alberta-based newspaper company Pass Herald Ltd. filed a proposed class action against Google and Facebook. The dispute was rooted in the system of digital display advertising – publishers sell slots on their websites and mobile applications through automated tools, and advertisers purchase the right to advertise in those slots within a fraction of a second through other automated tools. Pass Herald alleged that Google and Facebook conspired and rigged bids in violation of the Competition Act.

In its statement of claim, Pass Herald said, “Google agreed to give Facebook a wide variety of advantages in digital display advertising auction, allowing Facebook to benefit at the expense of other publishers.” Pass Herald was represented by Sotos LLP in the proceedings, Tyr LLP acted for Google and McMillan LLP was Facebook’s legal counsel.

Murphy Battista LLP represented Sean Bruyea, a veteran member of the Canadian Armed Forces, who has been suffering from disabling medical conditions as a result of his service in the force. He brought a proposed class action against the Crown and the Minister of Veterans Affairs, alleging that they had been negligent in failing to advise the plaintiff and the proposed class of the eligibility requirements of the Supplementary Retirement Benefit program (SRB), as well as the steps they needed to take in order to maximize their benefit entitlements under the program. The SRB program was established to mitigate the negative impact that service-related disabilities had on a veteran’s pension earnings and retirement savings. The plaintiff claimed damages resulting from the Crown’s systemic negligence and breach of fiduciary duties.

Davies Ward Phillips Vineberg represented FMCI Financial Corporation in its application for judicial review of the decision of the Minister of National Revenue refusing to agree to a reference to the Tax Court of Canada, in accordance with s. 173(1) of the Income Tax Act. FMCI argued that if it is apparent that the taxpayer and the Minister disagreed as to the taxing of certain transactions and when the assessments have not yet been issued, the Tax Court may step in to determine the proposed reassessment.

The Lax Kw’alaams Indian Band claimed that it has an Aboriginal right of access to fishing grounds within the Northern Shelf Bioregion for purposes of commercial fishing. The band claimed that the Crown refused or ignored its request for a full consultation over the planning process that would identify the zones within the bioregion that will be permanently closed to commercial fishing. The band claimed that the proposed zones include fishing grounds relied upon by members of the Lax Kw’alaams indigenous community for economic support. Mackenzie Fujisawa LLP acted as legal counsel for Lax Kw’alaams Indian Band.

In immigration law, the firms in court this week include OWS Law, Lithwick Law, KPMG Law, Jackman & Associates, and Mangat Law Office.

Under intellectual property law, some of the notable firms appearing in court were Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP for Bell Canada, Dentons LLP for Skychoice Communications Inc., Bennet Jones LLP for Ducks Lane Ltd., Miler law for Optimal Air Solutions Inc., Sutherland Law for Optimal Mechanical Contractors Ltd., and Bereskin & Parr LLP for Cosmetic Warriors Ltd.

Federal Court of Appeal

The Métis National Council (MNC) and the Manitoba Métis Federation Inc. (MMF) appealed from the dismissal of their motion to intervene in a class proceeding involving a claim of persons who were affected by the Sixties Scoop against the Federal Government. The proposed intervenors MNC and MMF claimed that they have extensive knowledge and experience with respect to administering programs and services to Métis Nation citizens. They further claimed that they have a history of representing the interests and rights of the Métis Nation by intervening in proceedings before all levels of court. Lenczner Slaght LLP represented MNC and MMF. Koskie Minsky LLP acted for the plaintiffs in the underlying action, Shannon Varley and Sandra Lukowich.

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