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Shaw speaks out against competition watchdog over Rogers deal

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OTTAWA — Shaw Communications Inc. challenges Canada’s competition watchdog, arguing that a full block of Rogers Communications Inc.’s proposed $26 billion acquisition would set the telecommunications industry back a generation .

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In opening arguments on the first day of a multi-week hearing in the competition court, Shaw called the Competition Bureau’s desire to prevent the deal from taking place “dramatic excesses.”

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Earlier in the day, regulators stepped up their opposition to the acquisition and their intent to block it outright.

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In opening statements to the Competition Bureau on Monday, plans to sell Shaw-owned wireless operator Freedom Mobile to Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron Ltd. have allayed concerns that a broader merger could lead to worse or worse service. It reiterated its position that it is not enough to Higher price for consumers.

By selling Freedom Mobile to Videotron, Quebcor will purchase all of Freedom’s branded wireless and Internet customers, as well as all of Freedom’s infrastructure, spectrum and retail outlets, to expand Quebec’s wireless operations nationwide. It will be. Quebecole earlier this year agreed to acquire Freedom in a $2.85 billion deal.

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The regulator said separating Freedom from Shaw would reduce competitors as Freedom would lose access to certain shared talent and synergies it “enjoyed” as part of Shaw. rice field.

The company said the sale would not replace the “vigorous” competitive presence provided by Shaw.

The Competition Bureau said the sale would create a situation in which Videotron would be more “aligned” with Rogers and more vulnerable to anti-competitive conduct by Rogers.

In addition, regulators said Quebec has high barriers to entering new markets. Videotron only operates in Quebec and a small portion of Ontario.

Barriers include challenges such as acquiring scarce and expensive spectrum, building infrastructure, retail distribution and customer acquisition, the Bureau said.

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He also noted that Rogers plans to acquire customers from Shaw Mobile even if Freedom is sold.

Shaw said Rogers would never own or operate Freedom, and explained that Videotron would acquire Freedom before Rogers and Shaw merged.

Shaw added that Freedom operates as an independent company that can be sold “easily” and “cleanly” separately.

The company also said Videotron would be a stronger competitor than the current Freedom. The sale will allow Freedom to offer his 5G service, which has never been possible before.

In another decision last month, Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne imposed new terms on the Rogers-Shaw deal, specifically targeting the sale of Freedom to Videotron.

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As Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Champagne has opened the door to a revised agreement, saying that while he must approve any frequency license transfer, he has two main provisions. left it alone.

He said Videotron would have to agree to keep Freedom’s wireless license for at least 10 years.

He also said he “expects” wireless rates in Ontario and western Canada to be reduced by about 20% to match the prices Videotron currently offers in Quebec.

In response, Quebecole said it was open to the terms and agreed to incorporate them into the amended deal.

In the opening discussion, Shaw also stated that Rogers and Shaw’s deal, especially in Western Canada, is relatively equal to Tellus, who dominates the part, although Rogers’ size, scale, and resources are significantly greater than Shaw’s. Argued that the Rogers-Shaw deal would promote competition because of this. As a result, Terrace and Rogers were put on equal footing.

The Competition Bureau is one of three regulatory bodies that require approval before a transaction can take place, in addition to CRTC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Hearings will last four weeks, with oral arguments scheduled for mid-December.

Rogers hopes to complete his contract with the show by the end of the year, with the possibility of a further extension through January 31, 2023.

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Shaw speaks out against competition watchdog over Rogers deal

Source link Shaw speaks out against competition watchdog over Rogers deal

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