(Bloomberg) -- Rogers Communications Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tony Staffieri defended his company’s C$20 billion ($15.4 billion) deal to buy Shaw Communications Inc. as a way to improve the reliability of Canada’s communications networks after a nationwide network failure left millions without service and drew the ire of the country’s industry minister.

“We very much remain committed to the Shaw transaction. That transaction has always been about expanding our network capabilities, attaining more redundancy and coverage across the nation that can only help in situations like this,” Staffieri said in an interview with BNN Bloomberg Television. 

The CEO apologized again for the network failure, which began Friday and stretched into the weekend. He is due to meet Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne on Monday afternoon to discuss what happened. 

Champagne blasted the company’s network problem as “unacceptable” and said work was needed to fix reliability issues. The meeting is scheduled to discuss “how important it is to improve the reliability of the networks across Canada,” according to a statement from the minister’s office. 

Rogers dropped as much as 4.6% Monday, the biggest intraday loss since May 9. Shaw was down 3.1% to C$35.07 as of 3:09 p.m. in Toronto.  

Champagne’s department has the final say on approvals for Rogers’ proposed acquisition of Shaw, a major internet and wireless provider based in Canada’s west. The country’s antitrust body, known as the Competition Bureau, has opposed the deal and Friday’s outage could provide the regulator with more ammunition in its battle to stop the merger.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.