Rogers-Shaw merger: Competition Bureau gives up the fight, House of Commons begins its scrutiny

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Competition Bureau has Told It will not appeal Federal Court ruling after motion to block Rogers-Shaw merger was rejected yesterday

“We are really disappointed that the Federal Court of Appeal has dismissed our appeal of the Competition Tribunal’s decision in Rogers-Shaw,” said Competition Commissioner Matthew Boswell. “While today’s developments are disappointing, we stand by the findings of our investigation and decision to challenge the merger.”

The judgment was clear and overwhelmingly supported the decision of the Competition Tribunal, which the Bureau argued to be legally flawed,

Rogers, Shaw and Quebecor expressed their satisfaction with the decision in a joint statement, “We welcome this clear, unambiguous and unanimous decision from the Federal Court of Appeal. We look forward to closing the pro-competitive transaction and securing the final approval needed to create a strong fourth wireless carrier and more formidable wireline competitor in Canada.” We continue to work with Canada for innovation, science and economic development.

The Federal Court ruling and the bureau’s retreat mean the C$26 billion merger deal can now go to Minister François-Philippe Champagne for final approval.

However, independent internet service provider (ISP), TechSavvy is still hoping that the merger will go to the CRTC for more scrutiny before the minister gives his verdict. ISP said in a Tweet That court ruling yesterday doesn’t change the fact that “the Rogers-Shaw merger is based on an illegal side deal with Videotron that will eliminate competition and drive up consumer prices.” TekSavvy appeals to CRTC to stop the merger announced last weekwas introduced by the bureau as additional evidence, which was rejected by the federal court.

today, Standing Committee on Industry and Technologywhich previously released a study suggesting the merger should not go ahead, is holding a hearing to examine competition concerns with the deal.

However, it is unlikely that today’s hearing will affect Champagne’s decision, said Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-Commerce Law at the University of Ottawa said in a blog post,

“he is [Champagne] He is likely to tout terms on the deal, promise to reform the Competition Act, and announce his approval late on Thursday ahead of a holiday week so there will be no questions to answer in the House of Commons. But if he chooses that path, Canadians have to recognize that it is an option.

There is ample evidence, Geost said, that the merger should not proceed, including applications from the Bureau and TechSavvy, as well as “the undeniable frustration of Canadians over communications competition and pricing”.

“Minister Champagne and the government may choose to stand up for Canadian consumers and say that this deal does not move forward on their watch. Or they could side with the big telcos and make matters worse. It’s like Champagne,” Geist said.

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