More than strong words for Rogers needed from Feds, says competition expert


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TORONTO — A competition expert says Science, Innovation and Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne has to do more than offer strong words to Rogers Communications Inc.’s chief executive when they meet today following last week’s massive network outage.

University of Ottawa professor Jennifer Quaid says punishing the telecom giant isn’t necessarily the right approach, but that the suggestion of more government and regulatory oversight and intervention might make Rogers “sit up straight.”

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She says more important is longer-term action, in particular focusing on establishing backup measures aimed at mitigating similar situations and determining who will be responsible for them.

Quaid doesn’t see the outage necessarily sinking the Rogers’ proposed $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications Inc., which has already received pushback from the Competition Bureau, but believes it will make everyone pay closer attention to the deal.

She says that to have a negative impact on the deal there would have to be evidence that the outage and the way Rogers handled it is the product of not having the incentive to be more careful due to less competition in the market.

However, Quaid believes there is now a bigger opportunity to zone in on cost savings from the deal and whether the savings will come from eliminating redundancy systems and reducing technical staff.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 11, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI.B, TSX:SJR.B)



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