Rogers and Shaw Merger Approved with 21 Conditions, including Sale of Freedom Mobile to Videotron
The merger was first proposed in 2021 and has since faced opposition from regulatory agencies, including the Canadian Competition Bureau.
The Canadian federal government has granted approval for the multibillion-dollar merger of Rogers and Shaw, two major telecom companies in Canada, subject to several conditions that aim to benefit consumers. The merger was first proposed in 2021 and has since faced opposition from regulatory agencies, including the Canadian Competition Bureau. The approval comes with 21 legally enforceable conditions that include the sale of Shaw’s wireless business, Freedom Mobile, to Quebec-based Videotron, with the condition that the company will offer plans comparable to those currently available in Quebec. Moreover, Videotron must provide 5G service and increased data allotments to existing Freedom Mobile customers, and offer service in Manitoba via MVNO.
Rogers will acquire Shaw’s media and cable assets, which are mostly based in Western Canada, subject to several conditions such as job creation, network expansion, and offering new lower-cost plans to consumers. The Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, stated that the deal will result in “unprecedented and legally binding commitments” from Rogers and Videotron. The approval by the federal government is the final step in a lengthy process that started 746 days ago, with shareholders of all companies involved having already signed off on the merger.
The companies involved have set a self-imposed deadline of April 7 to finalize the deal. If the conditions are not met, the government can use its power to enforce the terms on behalf of Canadians. Rogers is subject to financial penalties of up to $1 billion for non-compliance, while Videotron could face penalties of up to $200 million. The merger between Rogers and Shaw is expected to have a significant impact on Canada’s telecommunications industry, and the government’s conditions aim to ensure that the deal benefits consumers and the economy.