After an arbitration period and weeks of talks, Rogers Communications and Canada’s competition watchdog failed to resolve their disagreements over the telecoms giant’s plans to buy Shaw Communications for $26 billion.
In a joint press release Thursday night, Rogers, Shaw and Quebecor Inc. said they were “disappointed” that they were unable to reach a negotiated settlement in the arbitration session. They said they remain committed to completing the transaction.
The fight is set to begin on November 7, moving to pre-competition court hearings that could last until mid-December.
The Competition Bureau is trying to block the deal, arguing it would lead to poor service and higher prices for consumers.
Earlier this week, Minister of Industry François-Philippe Champagne made a deal specific to the sale of Shaw-owned wireless carrier Freedom Mobile to Québecor’s Videotron, a key element of the proposed deal. proposed new conditions.
In response, Québecor said it accepted the industry minister’s provisions and agreed to incorporate them into the new version of the deal.
The CRTC conditionally approved Rogers’ acquisition of Shaw’s broadcast services in March, but the deal is subject to greenlights from the Competition Bureau and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
Rogers hopes to complete the transaction by the end of the year, which could be extended further through January 31, 2023. The completion date has been postponed several times.