Market looking at the deal as a big positive for Rogers
Canadian Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne has approved Rogers Communications Inc.’s $20-billion takeover of rival telecom Shaw Communications Inc., but there are conditions attached and penalties of up to $1 billion if the companies violate them.
Here is a look at the conditions he placed on the sale:
CONDITIONS FOR VIDEOTRON
Champagne’s approval of the sale depended on Shaw selling its Freedom Mobile wireless business to Quebecor’s Videotron.
His conditions for the sale dictate that Videotron:
- Offer plans comparable to those currently available in Quebec
- Offer plan options that are at least 20 per cent cheaper than those offered by other major players
- Cannot transfer the Freedom Mobile licences for 10 years
- Expand its 5G network in Freedom Mobile’s existing territory within two years
- Expand service into Manitoba with a Mobile Virtual Network agreement, with similar plans to its Quebec offerings
- Increase data allotments for Freedom Mobile customers by 10 per cent as it brings down prices
The company faces a maximum fine of $200 million if it violates any of the conditions.
CONDITIONS FOR ROGERS
Champagne said Rogers must make investments to improve connectivity over the next five years. Those investments include:
- Creating 3,000 jobs in Western Canada and maintaining them for at least 10 years
- Establishing a Western headquarters in Calgary that must remain open for 10 years
- $1 billion to expand broadband internet access and 5G mobile service where it isn’t currently available
- $2.5 billion on “enhancing” its 5G network in Western Canada
- $3 billion on other network service expansion projects
- Expanding its low-cost broadband internet plans
- Setting up a low-cost mobile plan for low-income Canadians
Rogers could be fined up to $1 billion if it violates any of the conditions.
Champagne said Friday that Videotron and Rogers also entered into commercial network-access agreements to help Videotron compete more effectively as it expands across Canada.
He promised that the government would “use every means in our power” to enforce the terms of the sale if the companies don’t live up to the agreement.