Canada competition tribunal approves $14.8 bln Rogers-Shaw merger


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Canada’s competition tribunal on Thursday approved the C$20 billion ($14.77 billion) merger between Rogers Communications Inc and Shaw Communications Inc that would create the country’s second-largest telecom provider after Bell.

Rogers’ proposed deal had been blocked by Canada’s antitrust bureau on grounds that it would lessen competition in a country where wireless charges are among the highest in the world.

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In a ruling late on Thursday, the Competition Tribunal dismissed the Commissioner of Competition’s request to oppose the deal, saying that the deal is “not likely to prevent or lessen competition substantially.”

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The panel also ruled that the proposed deal is not likely to lead to “materially higher” prices or a decline in service, quality or innovation.

The deal, launched in March 2021, has been seen as a test case for the Canadian antitrust bureau’s ability to foster competition in a country where customers and advocates have complained about market concentration from industries ranging from telecoms to banks.

During a Nov. 1 case management conference, the bureau had said that it was opposing the deal in its entirety due to the overlapping of Shaw’s wireline and wireless assets.

“I am very disappointed that the Tribunal is dismissing our application to block the merger between Rogers and Shaw. We are carefully considering our next steps,” Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competition, said in a statement.

Rogers and Shaw did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment. ($1 = 1.3544 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Divya Rajagopal and Akriti Sharma; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Muralikumar Anantharaman)


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