The closing date for a buy out of Shaw Communications by Canadian rival Rogers Communications was pushed back from the end of this month to 17 February, as the pair await the final approval needed for the deal to proceed.
When originally announced in March 2021, the acquisition was expected to complete in H1 2022. However, a lengthy regulatory scrap has shifted the date of deal completion a number of times and it now stands at almost two years after being struck.
Having finally seen off opposition from Canada’s competition authority last week, Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications now require the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Francois-Philippe Champagne to sign off on a related deal to let their deal complete.
The approval needed relates to the transfer of spectrum licences from Shaw Communications to Videotron, a third party buying the operator’s Freedom Mobile brand.
After an appeals court threw out a final attempt by competition authorities to scupper the agreement last week, Champagne released a statement noting he would closely review that decision along with an earlier Competition Tribunal judgement clearing the deal.
The minister said he would “render a decision in due course” and cited a long-held ambition to ensure “competition and affordability in the telecom sector”.