Québecor’s Vidéotron has sued Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI) for $850 million after the latter allegedly breached a contract it signed with the former back in 2013 to jointly build and maintain infrastructure for an LTE network in Quebec and the national capital region — reports The National Post.
The lawsuit, filed with the Quebec Superior Court on Friday, claims that Vidéotron and RCI were to work together on the LTE infrastructure in question until 2033 in accordance with an agreement signed between the two, which RCI breached when it started developing a parallel network for its own exclusive use in recent years.
Vidéotron also claims that while RCI was working on the parallel network, it continued to create an “artificial impasse” and conducted “bad faith” negotiations during the two parties’ talks to update the shared cellular infrastructure.
“Rogers’ disloyal conduct is putting Vidéotron in front of (a) fait accompli : the joint network is not evolving anymore, starved of investments due to the impasse,” reads the lawsuit. Vidéotron says RCI’s actions have cost it “hundreds of thousands” of clients and dealt a “very hard hit” to the company’s reputation.
“Vidéotron is doubly victim of the faulty conduct, considering the head start that Rogers gave itself with its parallel network,” says the telco.
Vidéotron is seeking $850.3 million from RCI in compensatory damages, and is also asking a judge to remedy the breach of contract with specific performance of the terms outlined in the original deal.
In a statement after the lawsuit was filed, Rogers shifted the blame to Vidéotron, contesting that the company did not want to “jointly” invest in network improvements.
“Their lack of investment is not in the best interest of consumers and does not align with our goal of providing the highest quality connectivity to our customers,” said RCI spokesperson Andrew Garas in an email.
“With regards to Videotron’s lawsuit, we look forward to responding more fulsomely in the court of law.”
This isn’t even the only legal battle Rogers Communications is currently fighting — a family feud brewing between Edward Rogers, chair of the Rogers Family Trust that controls the company, and members of his family recently escalated to the courtroom. At the time of writing, there are two sets of Boards of Directors making claims of legitimacy and control over the telecom.
There are fears that the ensuing chaos might jeopardize RCI’s deal to acquire Shaw Communications, which is currently being reviewed by the Competition Bureau and more.