Rogers Wins $13 Million in Legal Fees from Competition Bureau

Canada’s Federal Competition Tribunal has ruled in favour of Rogers and Shaw versus the country’s Competition Commissioner, awarding the telecoms $13 million CAD back in legal fees and costs.

In a landmark ruling dated August 28, the tribunal criticized Competition Commissioner Matthew Boswell for his “unreasonable behavior” and “unnecessarily contentious approach” in attempting to block Rogers’ acquisition of Shaw, reports BNN Bloomberg.

The tribunal’s decision comes after a protracted legal battle, during which Boswell continued to oppose the merger even after Rogers and Shaw agreed to sell the majority of Shaw’s wireless business to Quebecor.

Boswell’s persistence aimed to address concerns over Rogers gaining excessive market share. Despite these efforts, Boswell’s arguments were ultimately unsuccessful, and Rogers completed its $20 billion takeover of Shaw in April, two years following the initial announcement of the deal.

Paul Crampton, the Federal Court of Canada’s chief justice who oversaw last year’s antitrust hearings, stated that Boswell’s “intransigent” stance should now have “consequences.” A spokesperson for Boswell has yet to respond to requests for comment.

In the ruling, Crampton observed that the awarded sum, although constituting only a minor portion of the actual legal expenses faced by Rogers and Shaw, significantly surpasses any previous amounts granted by the tribunal for legal fees.

That’s a big penalty paid by the Competition Bureau back to the coffers of Rogers and Shaw. We can only wonder what this means for the Competition Bureau in the future when it tries to block other major telecom mergers.

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