Judge calls Canwest sales dispute 'ridiculous'; court OKs Integra overbuild

Ontario Judge Sarah Peppal has called a dispute over who will buy Canwest's television properties "ridiculous" and told the parties to get out of her courtroom and settle the mess because "you have employees hanging in the balance."

The Canwest properties were supposedly sold for $2 billion to Canadian MSO Shaw Communications in a deal announced in May. Since then, dissident shareholders have gone to court to block the sale and start things all over again.

"It's ridiculous you're here," Peppal told attorneys for both sides. "I would expect you to be able to reach a resolution."

Speaking of resolutions, a long-running legal dispute in Minnesota may finally have been settled when the state court of appeals affirmed Prior Lake city council's decision to grant a cable TV franchise to overbuilder Integra Telecom. The ruling by Chief Judge Edward Toussaint called a Mediacom-based challenge "without merit" because the city was "not unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious in its application of the law" when it awarded Integra a franchise without demanding that it cover the entire city.

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