Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The Acquisition of Shaw by Rogers Will Raise Prices and Erase Jobs

OpenMedia’s Laura Tribe, in an editorial in the Star:

In the middle of a pandemic, when quarantined Canadians have turned to a battalion of gig workers across the country armed with smartphones to deliver everything from diapers to doughnuts, Rogers seeks to snuff out one of the few competitive hopes for Canada’s already brutal wireless industry.

Now Rogers finds itself in the awkward position of having to explain away all of Shaw’s great marketing. After less than a year, the wireless disrupter “beginning to set the tone for a new era of competition” is gearing up to be the latest hood ornament on the Rogers family dynasty.

Cutting through the marketing, this transaction means what every merger in a concentrated industry means: less choice and higher prices for a service that is increasingly critical to the livelihoods of Canadians.

As the crisis phase of this pandemic begins to subside thanks to worldwide vaccination programs, many businesses have indicated that they will continue to support some form of remote work indefinitely. If this acquisition is approved, it will mean we are more dependent on fewer providers. It creates no incentives for any of our ISPs or cellular providers to reduce the ridiculously high prices we all pay, but there are more reasons for them to charge ever-greater rates.