The Competition Tribunal's support for the Shaw-Rogers merger unveiled earlier this week will be assessed by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, who must give his the transaction can proceed.
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Mr. Champagne indicated on Saturday that he will “examine in detail” the decision rendered by the Competition Tribunal. “I will only issue my separate decision after having more clarity on the legal process underway,” he said.
That said, the Minister recalled having already rejected the acquisition of Shaw by Rogers in the past, for fear of a reduction in competition in the telecommunications sector, largely dominated by Bell, Rogers and Telus in Canada.
“Since I have already rejected the transfer of spectrum licenses from Shaw to Rogers, I only have to consider the separate application to transfer spectrum licenses from Shaw to Quebecor. Promoting competition and affordability in telecommunications is one of my top priorities. This position has not changed,” commented Mr. Champagne.
The merger plan, valued at $26 billion, currently provides for Shaw to sell its Western Canadian subsidiary Freedom Mobile to Quebecor, which aims to make its Videotron subsidiary a national player in the telecommunications field.
The Competition Tribunal ruled in a decision released Thursday that the proposed merger and divestiture of Freedom Mobile "is not likely to prevent or lessen competition substantially" in telecommunications in Canada. .
This decision disappointed the Competition Bureau, which intends to appeal the judgment.