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Canada’s competition watchdog said it will not take further action on conspiracy allegations surrounding a deal between Postmedia and Torstar.

The Competition Bureau announced Thursday that it has closed its investigation into Postmedia Inc. and Torstar Corp.’s deal to swap 41 newspapers.

The deal, quickly followed by the closure of 36 of the papers, raised concerns it violated the Competition Act.

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The regulator has been reviewing evidence since November, 2017, including sending officers to search Toronto offices of Postmedia, Torstar and its Metroland Media Group subsidiary and examine six current or former Torstar workers under oath.

But the Competition Bureau said that no further action was warranted on Postmedia and Torstar’s deal, which affected mostly community and daily newspapers in eastern and southern Ontario.

The regulator said in a statement it must find clear evidence of a price-fixing agreement or a deal to reduce the supply of a product or service before it can recommend prosecuting a case of criminal conspiracy.

Torstar said in a statement it welcomed the decision and that the Competition Bureau plays an important part in the Canadian economy.

Torstar holds an investment in The Canadian Press as part of a joint agreement with subsidiaries of the Globe and Mail and Montreal’s La Presse.

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