Rogers-Shaw merger blocked again as Competition Bureau gets temporary stay of Tribunal’s decision from Court of Appeal

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Rogers’ acquisition of Shaw Communications has thrown up yet another hurdle. Yesterday, the Federal Court of Appeal granted the Competition Bureau an “emergency interim stay (suspension)” of the tribunal’s decision, which “will remain in effect until [the Competition Bureau’s] Application for stay and injunction may be heard”, Bureau Tweeted,

This came after the Competition Tribunal cleared the way C$26 billion (including notional debt) for Rogers proposed acquisition On 29 December rejected the Competition Bureau’s application to block the merger of Shaw Communications. The proposed sale of Shaw’s wireless service subsidiary Freedom Mobile to Quebecor’s Videotron was also confirmed as a precondition to the deal.

while Rogers and Shaw proceeded to thank the members of the tribunal for the favorable decision joint statementBureau commissioner Matthew Boswell expressed being “very disappointed” in the A Statement,

However, the finish line was shifted again for the telcos, as they were advised, the day after the bureau meeting. application for injunction (which prevents the closure of the deal during the pendency of the appeal) and appeals the decision of the Tribunal.

“The Tribunal’s decision was correct, and the Tribunal was clear in its summary that the transaction we proposed is not likely to significantly reduce competition in Alberta and British Columbia. Instead, as the Tribunal found, competition would result from the transaction Rogers and Shaw responded in a joint statement, “We are deeply disappointed that the Commissioner continues to attempt to deny Canada and Canadians the benefits that would accrue from these proposed transactions.”

The appeal news doesn’t bode well for Rogers, as the company had been hoping to get the deal done before the end of last year to avoid facing hundreds of millions in fees to its lenders and a possible lawsuit from Shaw (the target date is now January 31). However, an appeal can take months.

The minister for innovation, science and industry, François-Philippe Champagne, said he would allow the legal dispute to be resolved before making a final decision on the deal.

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