Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. were notified this afternoon following the close of trading of the Commissioner of Competition’s intention to file applications to the Competition Tribunal opposing Rogers’ proposed merger with Shaw.
Rogers and Shaw remain committed to the Transaction, which is in the best interests of Canada and Canadians because of the significant long-term benefits it will bring for consumers, businesses and the economy.
The companies have offered to address concerns regarding the possible impact of the Transaction on Canada’s competitive wireless market by proposing the full divesture of Shaw’s wireless business, Freedom Mobile. Rogers and Shaw are engaged in a process to sell Freedom Mobile, with a view to addressing concerns raised by the Commissioner of Competition and ISED.
Rogers and Shaw will oppose the application to prevent the Transaction to be made by the Commissioner of Competition, while continuing to engage constructively with the Competition Bureau in an effort to bring this matter to a resolution and ensure that the Transaction’s benefits can be realized by all Canadians.
The Transaction will provide a combined Rogers and Shaw with the capabilities necessary to invest in digital infrastructure, create jobs, drive innovation, increase choice, and bridge the digital divide. In addition, the Transaction will foster greater competition by creating Canada’s most robust wholly-owned national network, and generating more choice for businesses and consumers so they may realize the full economic and social benefits of next generation networks.
Benefits of the Transaction
Investing $2.5 billion to build 5G networks across Western Canada over the next five years;
Establishing a new $1 billion Rogers Rural and Indigenous Connectivity Fund dedicated to connecting rural, remote, and Indigenous communities across Western Canada;
An additional $3 billion to support further network, services, and technology investments;
Creating up to 3,000 net new jobs in Western Canada; and
Extending Rogers Connected for Success program extended across Western Canada to bring the first of its kind low-cost broadband program nationally to help seniors and low-income Canadians in every community where the combined company offers Internet services.
In order to permit continued engagement with the Competition Bureau, Rogers, Shaw and the Shaw Family Living Trust have agreed to extend the outside date of the Transaction to July 31, 2022. In addition, Rogers and Shaw will continue to seek approval of the Transaction from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
The Transaction has already been approved by the shareholders of Shaw and the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has approved Rogers’ acquisition of Shaw’s broadcasting services, subject to conditions and safeguards designed to ensure that the Transaction benefits Canadians. In addition, the Transaction remains subject to the approval of the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and other customary closing conditions.