Canada: Rogers, Shaw sell mobile division
August 17, 2022
By Chris Forrester
Canada’s two giant cable distribution companies, Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications, have agreed to sell their jointly-owned Freedom Mobile business to Quebecor’s subsidiary Videotron. The deal is expected to open up permissions for Rogers and Shaw to themselves merge their operations.
The proposed merger – announced more than a year ago in March 2021 – and valued at C$26 billion (€19.8m), had hit the buffers when Canada’s Competition Commission filed an injunction which said that the merger – as then outlined – would lessen competition in the nation’s telecoms market.
Now, with the sale of Freedom Mobile the cableco’s say that they hoped the merger scheme could now receive favourable approvals.
“This agreement with Quebecor brings us one step closer to completing our merger with Shaw,” Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri said. “We strongly believe that this divestiture solution addresses the concerns raised by the Commissioner of Competition and the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and we look forward to securing the outstanding regulatory approvals for our merger with Shaw”.
The companies said that the proposed deal for Freedom Mobile was subject to regulatory approvals and the closing of the Rogers-Shaw merger. The sale of Freedom would help create a strong fourth national wireless provider said the parties.
The new combined business of Videotron and Freedom Mobile would see the launch of a national 5G offering, using Videotron’s 3.5 GHz frequencies.
“We are very pleased with this agreement, and we are determined to continue building on Freedom’s assets,” said Pierre Karl Péladeau, president and CEO of Quebecor.