Competition Bureau to Advance Review of Rogers-Shaw Merger

Canada’s Competition Bureau announced on Thursday it is ready to advance its review of the proposed Rogers-Shaw merger, as it has now obtained court orders granted by the Federal Court of Canada.

The Bureau says it is “investigating whether the proposed transaction is likely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition for services provided by the companies, including mobile wireless, wireline and broadcasting services.”

Court orders were granted on July 26 and August 1 of this year, requiring the following telcos to provide wireless records and written information to assist in the Bureau’s review:

  • Xplornet Communications Inc. (Xplornet)
  • BCE Inc. (Bell)
  • TELUS Corporation (Telus)
  • Quebecor Inc. (Vidéotron)

The Bureau says it’s unclear how long the review will take. If it concludes a merger will lessen competition, it would be able to get the Competition Tribunal to issue an order under section 92 of the Competition Act, which it says would “prevent, dissolve or alter the merger.”

Critics of the $26 billion Rogers-Shaw deal says investors will win and consumers will lose, as it will likely eliminate Shaw’s Freedom Mobile as a viable fourth competitor in major wireless markets. Rogers and Shaw previously told Members of Parliament the merger will result in more competition.