Rogers-Shaw merger deadline extended to Feb. 17

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Rogers, Shaw and Quebecor announced A joint statement this morning said the deadline for completing the proposed Rogers-Shaw merger and selling Freedom Mobile to Quebecor has been extended to February 17, as they await approval from Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne .

This announcement comes after Minister Champagne told the star on Friday that he was in no rush to close the deal and that he needed to “fully understand” the federal court’s ruling approving the merger, and to ensure that the spectrum licenses from Shaw to Videotron were met. Pre-conditional transfers will lead to lower wireless prices.

Rogers would have faced huge financial penalties and risked lawsuits from investors and Shaw if a decision was not made before the initial closing date of January 31.

Ministers are set to take Champagne Telecom to the finish line after the Competition Bureau’s proposal to block the merger was rejected. competition tribunal at the end of December, and by federal court of appeal Last week.

The main debate in the post-hearing period was whether, if the merger had been investigated independently of its remedy (the sale of Freedom Mobile to Videotron to quell competition concerns), the decision around competition would have been the same. Would.

critics too weighed in during the House of Commons last week on mergers Standing Committee on Industry and Technology (INDU) The hearing, with several witnesses including Globalive founder Anthony Lacavera and TechSavvy’s independent ISP vice president Andy Kaplan-Mith, called on the minister to block the merger.

The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) is also being called by techsavvy and to review the preferential low rates (according to critics illegal) offered by Rogers to Videotron to enable other critics to portray the Quebec-based carrier as a fierce competitor.

The CRTC, however, has been silent since approving the merger last year and it is uncertain whether the INDU hearing will have any impact on the stand of the minister or the CRTC.

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