Advanced Television

Objections over Canada cable merger

January 4, 2023

By Chris Forrester

Canada’s Competition Tribunal has approved the C$26 billion (€18.07bn) merger between Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications. But the decision has almost immediately been met with objections.

The Competition Bureau (note, not the Tribunal) has asked Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal to set aside the favourable decision and is arguing that the Tribunal has made mistakes in how it assessed the deal and made “fundamental” errors of law.

The Bureau won a temporary stay on the Tribunal’s decision.

In its ruling at the end of 2022, the Tribunal said the proposed merger was not likely to see prices raised. It also accepted that the plan to sell Freedom Mobile (by Shaw to Quebec-based Videotron) was adequate to ensure competition isn’t substantially reduced.

RBC Capital Markets analyst Drew McReynolds, in a note to clients, said that the Bureau faces an “uphill battle” in its effort to overturn the Tribunal’s dismissal of its case. He said that the merger would ultimately be approved although appeals to Canada’s Supreme Court were possible.

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