Rogers, Shaw, Quebecor Say Mediation Talks Failed with Competition Bureau

Rogers, Shaw and Quebecor have released a statement on the outcome of mediation talks today with the Competition Bureau, as part of the Competition Tribunal process.

The trio said there was no settlement and they are “disappointed” at the outcome, citing how the Competition Bureau’s actions are delaying “lower wireless prices” for Canadians.

“The mediation did not yield a negotiated settlement. We are disappointed with this outcome and believe that litigation is both unnecessary and harmful to competition. The Bureau’s unwillingness to meaningfully engage unduly delays lower wireless prices for Canadian consumers,” said the group in an emailed statement.

Hearings with the Competition Tribunal are slated for November, with a decision expected in early 2023. Rogers and Shaw have already adjusted its timeline for the merger to early 2023. Any rulings would see both sides have an option to appeal.

“We remain committed to completing this pro-competitive series of transactions and are confident in the strength and merits of our case in front of the Competition Tribunal, including the many benefits of these transactions to Canadians,” said the three companies.

According to Rogers, Shaw and Quebecor, if their deals complete, their “proposed series of transactions will positively transform the Canadian telecommunications industry in both the wireline and wireless segments.”

Freedom Mobile moving to Videotron “will have everything it needs to compete as a stronger fourth carrier for the long term, including critical 5G spectrum. Quebecor’s commitment to lower wireless prices for Canadians across the country is one of the many benefits that the proposed transactions will create,” said the group.

As for Rogers and Shaw, the combined wireline business “will have a national network positioned to compete against the telcos for the long-term.”

“Together, these transactions will deliver world-leading, affordable telecommunications that Canadian consumers need and deserve for today and into the future,” concluded the three companies.

On Tuesday, François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, officially denied the transfer of Shaw’s wireless licenses to Rogers, while also citing requirements of Quebecor’s Freedom Mobile purchase.

…developing, refresh for updates