Rogers-Shaw Merger ‘Should Now Be Approved’: Freedom Sale to Quebecor Signed

 

Rogers, Shaw and Quebecor announced on Friday they have signed a deal for the sale of Freedom Mobile to the latter, making their initial $2.85 billion agreement from mid-June now official.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and the closing of the Rogers-Shaw merger.

According to all three telcos, the deal “provides the best opportunity to create a strong fourth national wireless services provider and addresses the concerns raised by the Commissioner of Competition and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry regarding the Rogers-Shaw Transaction.”

“We are very pleased with this Agreement, and we are determined to continue building on Freedom’s assets,” said Pierre Karl Péladeau, President and CEO of Quebecor, in a statement. “Quebecor has shown that it is the best player to create real competition and disrupt the market. Our strong track record combined with Freedom’s solid Canadian footprint will allow us to offer consumers in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario more choice, value, and affordability through discounted multiservice bundles and innovative products.”

“This Agreement with Quebecor brings us one step closer to completing our merger with Shaw,” said Tony Staffieri, President and CEO of Rogers. “We strongly believe that this divestiture solution addresses the concerns raised by the Commissioner of Competition and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and we look forward to securing the outstanding regulatory approvals for our merger with Shaw so that we can start delivering its significant long-term benefits to Canadian consumers and businesses, including improved network resiliency.”

The sale of Freedom Mobile means Quebecor will launch a 5G network using Videotron’s 3500 MHz spectrum.

“My family, our management team, and our people are extremely proud of what we built with Freedom Mobile. Over the past six years we invested billions of dollars and launched products and services that disrupted the marketplace and helped redefine what Canadians can expect from their wireless carrier, but there’s much more that could be done as next generation networks are deployed, technology becomes more sophisticated and consumers’ demands for fast and responsive applications continue to increase,” said Brad Shaw, Executive Chairman and CEO of Shaw. “Bringing Freedom Mobile and Quebecor together will expand Freedom’s scope to create a national provider with greater ability to invest and compete for the future growth and technology Canadians will need.”

Rogers, Shaw and Quebecor confidently state with this announcement, that the Rogers-Shaw merger “should now be approved.”

Freedom Mobile being sold to Quebecor will create “a strong national wireless carrier that will offer competitive high-quality services, including 5G connectivity across Canada,” stated the companies.

Telus said the Freedom Mobile sale will likely reduce competition in the country, while the Rogers-Shaw merger continues to wait for its hearing with the Competition Bureau tribunal.