Rogers and Shaw Say Competition Bureau Commissioner Plans to Oppose Merger

Alexandra Posadzki, the Globe and Mail:

Canada’s Commissioner of Competition plans to oppose Rogers Communications Inc.’s $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications at the Competition Tribunal, the telecom companies said in a combined statement early Saturday morning.

Rogers and Shaw said they plan to oppose the anticipated application by Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competition, to block the proposed takeover, which would combine two of the country’s largest cable networks. The companies said they were notified of the commissioner’s intention to file the application on Friday afternoon, after the close of trading.

The telecom companies, as well as the Shaw family trust, have also agreed to extend the takeover deadline from June 13 to July 31.

While Rogers and Shaw have issued a joint press release, the Competition Bureau has not yet commented publicly. These companies have avoided competing for over twenty years, merger or no merger. Even if this acquisition were denied, each company will continue doing business only in its designated region, performing the outward appearance of competition while ensuring the prices we pay remain among the highest in the world.

In March, the CRTC approved Rogers’ purchase of Shaw’s media holdings.