Dec 14, 2022
Closing arguments to continue in Rogers-Shaw case before Competition Tribunal
The Canadian Press
Rogers, Shaw formalize planned Freedom Mobile sale to Quebecor
Closing arguments are expected to continue before the Competition Tribunal today, as the organization weighs whether the $26-billion merger of Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. should be blocked.
The oral arguments, which began Tuesday, are expected to be the hearing's final step before Federal Court Chief Justice Paul Crampton mulls the testimony he has heard over the last month and releases a decision. Shaw is scheduled to provide its final testimony today.
The matter landed before Crampton after Rogers said it would buy Shaw in March 2021 and the Competition Bureau objected, arguing the deal will increase cellphone bills and result in poorer service.
Rogers and Shaw agreed to sell Shaw's Freedom Mobile to Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron Ltd. to ease those concerns, but the federal watchdog still wasn't satisfied.
On Tuesday, the bureau's lawyers argued the deal will create an unprecedented relationship of dependence between telecom giant Rogers and Videotron, a small, regional player.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approved the deal in March, while Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne said he would only endorse it if Videotron agrees to keep Freedom’s wireless licences for at least 10 years and wireless prices in Ontario and Western Canada were lowered by about 20 per cent.