Regulatory, Telecom & Media News – Competition Bureau to argue legal errors made in Rogers-Shaw greenlight

The Competition Bureau says legal errors were made in a ruling to allow the Rogers-Shaw merger. The Bureau will argue at a Jan. 24 appeal hearing that the Competition Tribunal erred when it determined there would be no lessening of competition if Rogers is allowed to purchase Shaw. In an amended appeal filed Friday, the competition commissioner said the tribunal incorrectly combined the analysis of both the Rogers-Shaw merger with the remedy sale of Shaw’s Freedom assets to Videotron, rather than first evaluating the competition questions for the former and then the latter. The commissioner said this two-step approach is required by the Competition Act and confirmed by precedent.

Teksavvy, Canada’s largest independent wholesale-based internet service provider, is urging federal Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne to block the transfer of Shaw’s wireless spectrum assets to Videotron over concerns that the latter will receive favourable wholesale rates compared to competitors. The Competition Tribunal, earlier this month, provided reasons for denying an application to block Rogers from purchasing Shaw, saying Videotron – the regional carrier lined up to buy Shaw’s Freedom Mobile as a condition of the deal’s approval – would be a strong competitor in the market and would take market share from the major players in western Canada. The tribunal noted Rogers’ “sweeteners” in the Videotron deal, including providing the prospective western Canadian upstart with access to Rogers’ broadband network at below market rates. TekSavvy has said federal approval for the merger must be contingent upon first enacting the CRTC’s 2019 decision to lower its regulated rates. 

Bell has announced an additional $10 million dollar commitment to Bell Let’s Talk, as it makes a fundamental shift for this year’s campaign. The additional commitment will replace the donation of 5 cents per interaction Bell made in previous years as part of the annual initiative – more than Bell has ever committed towards its goal of $155 million for Canadian mental health programs. Bell says the move shifts the emphasis of the day on practical actions one can take throughout the year to create change. In addition, Bell Let’s Talk Day will put a spotlight on mental health organizations across the country providing supports and services for Canadians that Bell Let’s Talk is supporting.

 

Bill Custers

Bill Custers, Senior Manager, Broadcast & Strategy at Hamilton’s Cable 14, is among the latest round of Order of Hamilton recipients. Custer was recognized for the access station’s efforts to provide valuable information to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Order of Hamilton was established in 2019 by former mayor Fred Eisenberger as a way to recognize community volunteers.

 

 

The 2022 Michener Award is now open for submissions until Feb. 17. Presented annually to news organizations, rather than individuals, entries are judged for their professionalism, impact on the public, and degree of arms-length public benefit generated. Winners for both the 2021 and 2022 Michener Award cycles will be announced at the Michener Awards Ceremony on June 14 at Rideau Hall. Learn more about the 2021 finalists here. Submissions for the Michener Fellowships are also open, one in support of investigative reporting and one dedicated to the enrichment of journalism education. Each fellowship is worth $40,000 and up to $5,000 in expenses. Meet past Fellowship recipients and learn more about their projects here. Fellowship winners will be announced in spring 2023.

The 2023 Jack Webster Foundation Professional Development Fellowships are now open to applications. Fellowships will be awarded to members of the media or journalism educators wishing to further their journalistic knowledge and skills. Applicants can choose a course to enhance their leadership, reporting or editing skills here in Canada or choose a course offered by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in Florida. The deadline to apply is Feb. 26.