BCE Urges CRTC to Reject Rogers’ $26 Billion Shaw Takeover
On the second-last day of hearings in Gatineau, Quebec, BCE representatives urged the CRTC to reject Rogers’ $26 billion proposed takeover of Shaw Communications, while voicing concerns about the market dominance Rogers would gain if the deal gets a green light from the commission (via Bloomberg).
“If successful, Rogers will achieve a degree of control over the broadcasting sector at levels never before contemplated with no clear countervailing benefits for the Canadian broadcasting system,’’ said Robert Malcolmson, the chief legal and regulatory officer at BCE.
Malcolmson emphasized the CRTC’s initial rejection of BCE’s acquisition of Astral Media in 2012 because of the market size it would create as precedent; BCE wants Rogers to at least divest its broadcasting assets to lower market share.
Meanwhile, Rogers argued that it needs the increased scale to compete against streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon, while following Canadian broadcast regulations.
Earlier on Thursday, Reynolds Mastin, chief executive of the Canadian Media Producers Association, called for more tangible benefits from the deal, saying the $5.7 million Rogers has proposed is not proportional to the size of the deal.
“The commission should ensure that the applicant commits to a tangible benefits package that is proportionate to the size and nature of the transaction, and clearly and unequivocally benefits Canadians and their broadcasting system.”
Rogers is now scheduled to respond to issues raised during the week.