Competition Bureau reaches agreement with Rogers and Shaw to prohibit closing pending the outcome of the Commissioner’s application to challenge merger

News release

May 30 2022 – GATINEAU, QC – Competition Bureau

Today Rogers and Shaw agreed to a preliminary injunction that prohibits them from closing their proposed merger until the Commissioner’s challenge is heard and decided by the Competition Tribunal.

As part of an agreement that will be registered with the Tribunal, Rogers has also agreed not to enforce any condition in its agreement with Shaw, or any other agreement entered into in connection with the proposed merger that limits Shaw’s ability to operate, maintain, enhance or expand its wireless business.

Rogers and Shaw have also agreed to the Commissioner’s request for an expedited hearing process before the Tribunal. The Commissioner sought an expedited process given the ongoing harm he has alleged is already occurring in the market. The expedited schedule will be set by the Tribunal with input from the Commissioner and the parties.

On May 9th, the Competition Bureau filed an application with the Tribunal seeking a court order to block Rogers’ proposed acquisition of Shaw. The Bureau must now prove its case before the Tribunal in order for the deal to be permanently stopped.

The Bureau is seeking to block Rogers proposed $26 billion acquisition of Shaw in an effort to protect Canadians from higher prices, poorer service quality and fewer choices, particularly in wireless services.

The Bureau alleges that removing Shaw as a competitor threatens to undo the significant progress that it has made introducing more competition into an already concentrated wireless services market, where Rogers, Bell and Telus (the Big 3) serve approximately 87% of Canadian subscribers.

Quotes

“Vigorous competition is essential for Canadians to access affordable, high quality wireless services. I’m pleased this case can now move quickly towards a hearing before the tribunal. Our objective remains to protect   Canadians by preserving competition and choice in Canada’s wireless market.”

Matthew Boswell
Commissioner of Competition

Quick facts

  • The Bureau’s investigation of the proposed merger examined wireless, wireline and broadcasting services offered by both companies.

  • The Bureau’s application to the Tribunal alleges that eliminating Shaw would significantly increase Rogers’ national market share – already the largest among the Big 3 - and would significantly increase its market power.

  • The Bureau alleges that removing a strong regional competitor like Shaw will likely result in consumers paying significantly higher wireless prices.

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The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.

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