Canada’s competition watchdog says it intends to block Rogers Communications Inc.’s proposed $26 billion acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc. on the first day of a multi-week hearing in the competition court.
In opening arguments on Monday, the Competition Bureau said plans to sell Shaw-owned wireless carrier Freedom Mobile to Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron Ltd. raised concerns that a broader merger would lead to worsening or declining service. reiterated the position that it is insufficient to dispel Higher price for consumers.
The regulator said separating Freedom from Shaw would reduce competitors as Freedom would lose access to certain shared talent and synergies it “enjoyed” as part of Shaw. I’m here.
The sale will not replace the “vigorous” competitive presence Shaw provides, the company said.
The Competition Bureau said the sale would create a situation in which Videotron would be more “aligned” with Rogers and more vulnerable to anti-competitive conduct by Rogers.
He also said that even with the sale of Freedom, Rogers would continue to get customers from Shaw Mobile.
The Competition Bureau is one of three regulatory bodies that require approval before a transaction can go through, in addition to CRTC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
Last week, the competition watchdog stepped up its intentions to block the deal altogether.
Hearings will last four weeks, with oral arguments scheduled for mid-December.
Chief Justice Paul Crampton will lead a competition court panel at the hearing.
Rogers hopes to complete his contract with the show by the end of the year, with a possible extension until January 31, 2023.