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Note 6 Severance, acquisition and other costs

Note 6 Severance, acquisition and other costs



2016   2015  


(87 ) (197 )

Acquisition and other

(48 ) (249 )

Total severance, acquisition and other costs

(135 ) (446 )

Severance costs

Severance costs consist of charges related to involuntary and voluntary employee terminations. Severance in  2015 includes incremental costs related to workforce reduction initiatives incurred in our Bell Media and Bell Wireline segments to confront changing consumer preferences, new TV unbundling rules, a soft business market as a result of the economy and declines in home phone subscribers.


Acquisition and other costs

Acquisition and other costs consist of transaction costs, such as legal and financial advisory fees, related to completed or potential acquisitions, employee severance costs related to the purchase of a business, the costs to integrate acquired companies into our operations and litigation costs, when they are significant. Acquisition costs also include severance and integration costs relating to the privatization of Bell Aliant Inc.



Signal piracy litigation

On August 31, 2005, a motion to institute legal proceedings was filed in the Québec Superior Court against Bell ExpressVu Limited Partnership (Bell ExpressVu) by Vidéotron ltée, Vidéotron (Régional) ltée and CF Cable TV Inc. In the statement of claim, the plaintiffs alleged that Bell ExpressVu had failed to adequately protect its system against satellite signal piracy, thereby depriving the plaintiffs of subscribers who, but for their alleged ability to pirate Bell ExpressVu’s signal, would have subscribed to the plaintiffs’ services. On March 6, 2015, the Québec Court of Appeal reversed the judgment of the lower court regarding the quantum of damages awarded by such court, granting plaintiffs damages of $82 million, plus interest and costs. A charge of $137 million was recorded in Q1 2015 and was included in Acquisition and other costs.

On October 15, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada dismissed Bell ExpressVu’s application for leave to appeal the Québec Court of Appeal’s judgment. Accordingly, the aggregate amount of $141.6 million, including interest and costs, was paid by Bell ExpressVu on October 19, 2015 in full satisfaction of the judgment as rendered by the Québec Court of Appeal and was recorded in Acquisition and other costs paid in the statements of cash flows.

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