Chatham-based TekSavvy testified today before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, to discuss the Rogers-Shaw merger.
According to TekSavvy, it explained to Members of Parliament the proposed $26 billion merger is only made possible due to a federal regulatory system that favours incumbents, instead of smaller companies and consumers. Regulation is needed for competitive markets and more affordable prices.
“The merger of these two massive vertically integrated companies needs to be made contingent on effective and efficient regulatory measures that promote competition for services and that protect consumers’ interests in the Canadian telecom sector,” said Andy Kaplan-Myrth, Vice-President Regulatory and Carrier Affairs. “It is clear that fewer viable competitors and further consolidation of market power will result in even worse outcomes for internet and mobile users in Canada.”
For regulators deciding the fate of the Rogers-Shaw deal, they should consider the following key conditions, explains TekSavvy:
- CRTC should implement its delayed 2019 wholesale internet rates decision
- Enable consumer choice on fibre
- Mandate wholesale on mobile with Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) rules
- Competition Bureau must protect consumers and competition from abuses of market power and anti-competitive practices, such as using flanker brands to undercut retail pricing to below wholesale
If these measures were implemented, TekSavvy says it would drive down prices for consumers, plus also increase investment in rural areas.
“Canada needs to accelerate the building of networks to people in underserved areas,” said Andy Kaplan-Myrth, Vice-President Regulatory and Carrier Affairs. “To accomplish that, our broadband plan must include competition-by-design, and it must reject the false dichotomy between investment and competition. As TekSavvy continues to demonstrate, we can have both.”
Earlier this week, Rogers and Shaw executives testified to MPs and were lambasted for trying to argue the proposed merger would increase competition, instead of reducing it.