Picture: The Canadian Press
The Competitors Tribunal has dismissed an software from Canada’s competitors watchdog searching for to dam Rogers Communications Inc.’s proposed $26-billion buy of Shaw Communications Inc., clearing a path for the deal to go forward.
It nonetheless requires approval from Innovation, Science and Financial Growth Canada.
In a abstract of its resolution launched Thursday, the Tribunal mentioned the merger of the 2 telecommunications corporations wouldn’t end in materially greater costs.
The deal, which incorporates the sale of Shaw-owned Freedom Cellular to Quebecor-owned Videotron Ltd., would unlikely stop or reduce competitors considerably, the choice mentioned.
Quebecor agreed to purchase Freedom in a $2.85 billion deal earlier this yr.
Issues that Bell and Telus — the closest rivals to Rogers in Canada’s telecom market — could be unable to compete with the mixed firm have been additionally dismissive.
“The Tribunal has additionally decided that the strengthening of Rogers’ place in Alberta and British Columbia, mixed with the very vital aggressive initiatives that Telus and Bell have been pursuing for the reason that Merger was introduced, may even possible contribute to an elevated depth of competitors in these markets,” the choice reads.
The Tribunal says a extra detailed resolution will probably be launched within the subsequent two days.
The Competitors Bureau Canada responded late Thursday to the choice.
“I’m very upset that the Tribunal is dismissing our software to dam the merger between Rogers and Shaw,” Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competitors, mentioned in a short assertion. “We’re rigorously contemplating our subsequent steps.”
The Competitors Tribunal held 4 weeks of hearings to debate issues concerning the proposed deal earlier this yr.
All through the listening to, the Competitors Bureau argued that mergers would scale back competitors within the telecom market, set off greater costs and result in poor service.
Rogers and Shaw argued the deal would improve competitors and be higher for customers.
Earlier this yr, Business Minister François-Philippe Champagne mentioned he wouldn’t permit Rogers to accumulate all of Shaw’s wi-fi licenses, suggesting the ultimate approval for the required merger concessions together with the sale of Freedom.
The deal’s present time limit of Dec. 31 is simply days away, although the events have the choice to increase by the tip of January if wanted.