Retention packages at Shaw Communications Inc. will cost up to $50 million if the company's $26-billion proposed merger with Rogers Communications Inc. crosses the finish line.

Counsel for the Competition Bureau brought up the figure during cross-examination of accountant and witness Andy Harington at Tuesday's Competition Tribunal hearing.

Harington's testimony was focused on cost savings of the proposed deal.

While the dollar value details tied to projected efficiencies stemming from the merger were not disclosed to the public, it is a key topic in the hearing as demonstrating lower costs for the combined company could be a factor in the deal's approval.

Harington said he did not deduct retention bonuses from his calculation of efficiencies because it was not relevant.

The hearing before the Competition Tribunal is expected to last until mid-December and aims to resolve the impasse between the Commissioner of Competition, who wants to block the deal, and Rogers and Shaw.

The Competition Bureau is one of three regulatory agencies that must approve the deal, in addition to the CRTC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Rogers wants to close the Shaw deal by the end of the year, with a possible further extension to Jan. 31, 2023.