Ottawa rejects merger between Rogers and Shaw in its current form

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Ottawa rejects merger between Rogers and Shaw in its current form

The merger between Shaw and Rogers was announced on March 15.

Federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, rejects the transaction between Rogers and Shaw.

He made the announcement early Tuesday evening during a press briefing in parliament.

My decision puts an end to this transaction in its initial form, said the Minister Champagne.

As I have said many times before, I will never relinquish my commitment to promoting competition and more affordable prices for wireless services in Canada.

Mr. Champagne recalled that he said earlier this year that under no circumstances would he allow the bulk transfer of spectrum licenses for wireless services from Shaw to Rogers. Today, I officially rejected that request, he said.

Minister François-Philippe Champagne during his press briefing in Ottawa

In early July, Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications and the Competition Bureau began a mediation process regarding the $26 billion merger of the two telecommunications companies.

The competition watchdog was trying to block the deal, arguing it would ultimately lead to fewer choices in the telecom market and drive up consumer bills.

In addition, Mr. Champagne indicated that the new proposal submitted by Shaw to sell its wireless services business – namely those of Freedom Mobile – to Videotron will be subject to his approval.

I therefore want to be very clear as to the criteria that I will use to evaluate the proposal for this transfer of spectrum licenses, he said.

First of all, Videotron will have to retain any new license acquired for at least 10 years, which means that any new service provider will have to make a long-term commitment, the minister said.

He also insisted on the issue of rates, noting that prices for wireless services in Ontario and Western Canada will have to be comparable to those offered by Videotron in Quebec.

< p class="e-p">Indeed, prices in Quebec today are, on average, 20% lower than in the rest of Canada, he said.

The minister said that over the years, successive governments have tried to foster competition to drive down prices, concluding that Canadians deserve world-class wireless infrastructure. ale and access to services at affordable and competitive prices.

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