Feds Shouldn’t Be ‘Rubber Stamp for Billionaires’, Says Anti Rogers-Shaw Petition

Image: No Merger

A new petition, started by Globalive Capital and dubbed “No Merger,” seeks to organize Canadians against Rogers’ proposed $26 billion takeover of Shaw Communications and pressure the federal government to block the deal.

“Your government shouldn’t be a rubber stamp for billionaires,” the petition says.

Globalive Founder and Chairman Anthony Lacavera also established WIND Mobile, an independent telecom carrier that was later sold to Shaw and renamed Freedom Mobile. Freedom is now being sold to Quebecor’s Vidéotron in a remedy for anti-competition concerns against the Rogers-Shaw deal, despite Lacavera’s attempts to buy it back.

“Many fellow Canadians have asked me how they can voice their concerns with the government about the proposed Rogers/Shaw merger. Globalive created No Merger to make it easy for Canadians to make their voice heard,” said Lacavera, who has been outspoken against the transaction.

“Canada needs more choice in mobile and internet service providers, not less. Tell your Member of Parliament to stop the Rogers-Shaw merger.”

The campaign also cited recent Angus Reid polling that shows 8/10 Canadians and 9/10 Rogers and Shaw subscribers oppose the union.

Anyone who wants to take action against the Rogers-Shaw merger and voice their concerns to the feds can go to the No Merger website and send a prefabricated message to their MP. The message reads:

Dear MP,

I am writing to you as my Member of Parliament to ask you to stop the Rogers-Shaw merger.

With inflation on the rise, everything is more expensive. Canadians already pay some of the highest prices in the world for their cell phones. The Rogers-Shaw merger will only reduce competition and increase prices.

Minister Champagne has the final say on whether this merger should be approved. Tell him to follow the advice of the Competition Commissioner and the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology and reject this merger.

You have a rare opportunity to act now and help bring real competition to a sector that desperately needs it at a time when Canadians can’t afford less of it.

Sincerely, [your name]

Rogers said in a Tuesday filing that its “pro-competitive” acquisition of Shaw has been held up for far too long and “must be allowed to proceed.”

Meanwhile, the Competition Bureau is preparing to challenge the telecom duo again, this time in the Federal Court of Appeal after the federal Competition Tribunal ruled against blocking their marriage. The competition watchdog’s appeal hearing is set to begin on January 24.

In addition, the House of Commons’ industry and technology committee is set to launch a second public hearing into the Rogers-Shaw merger before the end of this month.

TekSavvy, an independent internet service provider (ISP), is also campaigning against the Rogers-Shaw deal, urging the Industry Minister to block it and asking the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to investigate the “unlawful” internet rates Rogers has agreed to offer Vidéotron as part of the Freedom sale.