The Competition Tribunal’s public hearing on Rogers Communications Inc.’s $26 billion proposed takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. begins today as the telecom companies look to take the deal across the finish line.
The hearing will aim to resolve the impasse between the Commissioner of Competition and Rogers and Shaw, and comes after weeks of talks and a short mediation period in late October that reached a stalemate.
The Competition Bureau is one of three regulatory agencies that must approve the deal before it can close, in addition to the CRTC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
Last week, the competition watchdog doubled down on its intention to fully block the deal.
It reiterated its position that the planned sale of Shaw-owned wireless carrier Freedom Mobile to Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron Ltd. is not enough to eliminate its concerns that the merger would lead to worse services and higher prices for consumers.
The hearing is expected to last four weeks with oral arguments scheduled for mid-December.
Chief Justice Paul Crampton will be heading the Competition Tribunal panel during the hearing.
Rogers is hoping to close the Shaw deal by the end of the year, with a possible further extension to Jan. 31, 2023.
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