Rogers and Shaw announced on late Friday night PDT it was notified this afternoon by the Commissioner of Competition after trading close, that it plans to oppose the merger of both companies, and will file applications to the Competition Tribunal stating the fact.
In a statement, Rogers and Shaw said they remain committed to the merger, noting it is “in the best interests of Canada and Canadians because of the significant long-term benefits it will bring for consumers, businesses and the economy.”
Roger and Shaw say they are “engaged” in a process to sell Freedom Mobile and its 2 million wireless users, in an effort to fully divest Shaw’s wireless business, as it believes this will address concerns of the Competition Bureau and ISED.
Both companies say they plan to oppose the Commissioner of Competition’s application while working with the Competition Bureau in an attempt to resolve the matter and pursue the merger.
To allow for continued engagement with the Competition Bureau, the outside date of the merger has been extended to July 31, 2022, according to Rogers, Shaw and the Shaw Family Living Trust. Both Rogers and Shaw say it still seeks approval from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) previously approved Rogers’ acquisition of Shaw’s broadcasting services, subject to conditions, while Shaw shareholders and the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta have also approved the merger.
Rogers and Shaw reiterated the deal would “foster greater competition” in Canada, while offering more choice for consumers and businesses. Non-profit consumer advocacy groups, however, feel the opposite will happen if the $26 billion merger goes through.