Conservative Party to Force Hearings on Rogers-Shaw Merger

The Conservative Party of Canada announced on Wednesday it will force hearings on the Rogers-Shaw merger.

Numerous Conservative Members of Parliament released statements on the matter, including Pierre Poilievre, Conservative Shadow Minister for Jobs and Industry.

The Conservatives will be forcing hearings of the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology on the Rogers deal to acquire Shaw.

“Some argue the Rogers-Shaw deal means more investment, others that it means less competition. The only way to know for sure through careful study and intense debate. Conservatives want the Industry Committee to hear from customers, workers, business leaders, engineers, economists, and other experts, to get a complete understanding of the proposed deal,” said the statement.

You can listen to Poilievre speak to the media on the matter from yesterday:

“Canada’s telecommunications sector is an exception. It is not a free market but a protected regulated system, where government agencies try to do what open competition would normally do. That system has not served Canada particularly well and has left us with higher prices and millions of Canadians who cannot access high-speed internet to run their businesses or have their kids participate in online learning,” continued the Conservative statement.

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, said on Monday, “We have been clear that greater affordability, competition and innovation in Canadian telecommunications are as important to us as a government as they are to Canadians concerned about their cell phone bills.”

Conservatives say with COVID-19, ensuring fast and affordable internet should be a priority, for rural and Indigenous communities working and learning from home. “For it to happen, we can no longer accept poor internet at high prices,” said the statement.

According to Rogers, it expects the $26 billion deal to complete by the first half of 2022. The merger still needs to be reviewed by the Competition Bureau of Canada, the CRTC, as well as ISED.

Wind Mobile’s founder, Anthony Lacavera, said on Wednesday he was “disappointed” at news of the Rogers-Shaw merger, noting it would result in higher wireless prices for Canadians and less competition.