Rogers-Shaw Agreement: Competition Bureau Extends Objection
The Competition Bureau has extended its objection to Rogers Communications Inc. proposed $26 billion acquisition of Shaw Communications in new filings with the Competition Court ahead of weeks of hearings scheduled to begin this fall.
In regulatory filings released after the market closed, the agency challenged Rogers’ claims of effectiveness and said its acquisition of its closest competitor was anticompetitive. will harm consumers despite higher prices, lower quality services and loss of innovation.
It also argued that selling Shaw’s proposed Freedom Mobile service was “not an effective remedy” as it would not replace the growing competition Shaw Mobile would distribute in Alberta and British Columbia and would make Freedom Mobile a “weaker competitor” than was excluded for the deal.
The office said the effect Rogers claims the deal would create is not sufficient to outweigh and offset the anticompetitive effects and is “speculative, unproven and unlikely to be achieved … or overly exaggerated.” It says the stated effects are based on “unrealistic assumptions and flawed methodologies.”
The Competition Bureau also said the subsequent price hike would result in wealth shifting from low- and middle-income groups to shareholders including super-wealthy members of the companies’ family-owned groups. .
Five weeks of hearings are scheduled to begin the week of November 7, followed by written and oral arguments.
This Canadian Press report was first published on June 17, 2022.