Competition Tribunal Has Yet to Reach Decision on Rogers-Shaw Merger

Canada’s Competition Tribunal said on Thursday that it hasn’t been able to reach a decision on the proposed $26 billion merger of Rogers and Shaw Communications yet — reports Reuters.

Federal Court Chief Justice Paul Crampton, who leads the three-member panel overseeing the Tribunal proceedings regarding the merger, reiterated during closing arguments last week that he would like to release a ruling before Christmas. However, the Tribunal was unable to come to a conclusion before the holidays.

“The Tribunal wishes to advise the public that it intends to provide 24-48 hours notice on its website of the time and date of the issuance of its decision,” the federal competition watchdog said in a notice on its website.

Evidentiary hearings on the Rogers-Shaw deal ran for 18 days and concluded earlier this month. The Tribunal’s decision will determine the fate of the two telecom giants’ union, which the Competition Bureau petitioned to block over concerns that it will lower competition and raise prices in the country’s already-oligopolistic wireless space.

Earlier this year, Rogers and Shaw agreed to sell the latter’s Freedom Mobile unit to Quebecor’s Vidéotron as a remedy to the Bureau’s antitrust concerns against their merger. However, the Bureau maintains that a Quebecor-owned Freedom won’t make a viable competitor.

Over the course of the trial, Shaw executives testified that the company doesn’t have “a viable path forward” if the merger falls through. We’ll have to wait a little longer to see what the Tribunal ultimately decides.

Rogers and Shaw previously extended their mutual merger deadline to December 31, 2022, with room for a further extension up to January 31, 2023.