GATINEAU, Que. -- The Competition Bureau Canada says it has already received an unprecedented amount of online interest related to Rogers Communications Inc.'s proposed acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc.

The Competition Bureau says it is getting a higher than normal volume of inquiries online, which is the main gateway for feedback since the bureau's phone services have been shut down since March 2020.

After the deal was announced Monday, the bureau says there was a surge of feedback forms related to the proposed $26 billion telecom tie-up, which would combine Canada's two largest cable operations and rivals in the wireless sector.

The regulator says it is not able to respond to each form individually because of the high volume, but that the feedback will be reviewed thoroughly and new submissions are still encouraged.

Federal Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has not speculated on whether the deal will be approved, but he said this week that his department will review the transaction in addition to required sign-offs from the the Competition Bureau and CRTC.

Consumer advocacy group OpenMedia has said the government should not approve the deal as it would reduce choice for Canadians, but Rogers chief executive Joe Natale said the companies are confident the deal will be approved.