Rogers says Telus documents show rival tried to ‘kill’ Shaw deal
TORONTO — In its effort to win takeover approval, telecom provider Rogers Communications Inc on Monday presented documents to a tribunal that show Canada’s second-largest telecom company Telus Corp attempted to sabotage Rogers’ C$20 billion ($15 billion) deal to buy Shaw Communications Inc.
Challenging Canadian regulators’ rejection of the deal on anti-trust grounds, Rogers may seek to argue that Telus wanted to kill the acquisition because it would increase cellphone competition, benefiting Canadians. The hearing at the competition tribunal will determine whether the Rogers-Shaw merger will lessen competition in Canada’s telecom sector.
Rogers lawyer Jonathan Lisus submitted internal documents from a former Telus employee that included a detailed plan named “Project Fox” for ending the deal. While there was no detail given on authentication of the documents, they were admitted to the tribunal’s public record, an indication they are considered legitimate.
“How to kill this deal without making it about competition? Make it about jobs,” one document said and recommended enlisting Shaw’s unions to campaign against the takeover.
Telus and Rogers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Canada’s antitrust authority has blocked Rogers’ planned deal to buy Shaw on the grounds that it will lessen competition in Canada, where wireless rates are among the highest in the world.
The competition tribunal hearing is set to continue for four weeks.
($1 = 1.3289 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Divya Rajagopal; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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