Earlier this week, Rogers announced it had signed a $26 billion deal to buy out Shaw, Canada’s fourth-largest telecommunications provider.
After speaking out about what the acquisition would do to cellular and internet prices in Canada, consumer advocacy group OpenMedia has now created a petition urging the Canadian government and Competition Bureau to block the deal.
Canada’s telecommunication industry is ruled by the Big 3 —or Bell, Rogers, and Telus. Critics note if one of the Big 3 was to buy out the fourth largest telecom provider in the country, competition in the industry would take a massive hit.
The less competition there is, incumbents will be able to charge Canadians more for their wireless services.
This won’t be the first time that actually happens either — OpenMedia cited Bell’s acquisition of Manitoba’s regional telecom provider MTS in 2017, which was green-lit by the Competition Bureau and resulted in Bell significantly raising prices following the buyout.
In addition, OpenMedia says a price hike following the acquisition is even more likely in this case, as Rogers will be taking out a number of hefty loans to finance its purchase of Shaw.
OpenMedia wants Canadians to sign the petition so the federal government simply can’t ignore their voices any longer, and be compelled to take action against the Rogers-Shaw deal, which is easier said than done.