Competition Bureau to oppose Rogers-Shaw merger

Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications say they've received notice from the Commissioner of Competition that the bureau intends to oppose their merger. (Image Credit: SOPA Images Limited/Alamy Live News)

Rogers and Shaw say they remain committed to their proposed merger, despite being informed Friday afternoon following the close of trading, that the Commissioner of Competition intends to file applications opposing the $26 billion transaction.

In a statement, the two companies say they’ll oppose the application, “while continuing to engage constructively” with the Competition Bureau. To facilitate that continued engagement, Rogers, Shaw and the Shaw Family Living Trust have agreed to extend the outside date of the transaction to July 31, 2022. Rogers and Shaw will also continue to seek approval from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED).

Critics of the proposed merger – the sixth largest in Canadian history – say the deal would lessen consumer competition across mobile wireless, internet and cable. The two companies had proposed the sale of Shaw’s wireless business, Freedom Mobile, “with a view to addressing concerns raised by the Commissioner of Competition and ISED.”

Rogers has already received approval from the CRTC to acquire Shaw’s broadcasting assets, with conditions.

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