Rogers Communications and rival Shaw Communications may be required to sell off the latter’s Shaw Mobile unit in addition to its Freedom Mobile business if they are to secure regulatory approval for a delayed CAD26 billion (US$20.1 billion) merger.
A Reuters report indicated that Canada’s Competition Bureau continues to believe the sale of Freedom Mobile is insufficient to bolster competition in the Canadian market once the merger is completed. It also appears to be uncertain whether or not the sale of Shaw Mobile would satisfy competition concerns, or if more concessions would be required.
Earlier this week, Rogers and Shaw announced plans to sell Freedom Mobile to Montreal-based telecoms and media group Quebecor for CAD2.8 billion ($2.2 billion). Sources told Reuters that Quebecor is expected to buy Shaw Mobile too.
The operators had placed the proposed merger on hold while they attempted to negotiate a settlement with the competition authority. The deal has been opposed by Competition Commissioner Matthew Boswell. Should negotiations fail the matter will go to a tribunal for a final ruling.
Shaw Mobile was launched in 2020 as a complementary business to Freedom Mobile, which Shaw acquired in 2016 from Globalive.
Rogers told Reuters that documents filed with the Competition Tribunal indicated that the Commissioner has “overstated the competitive significance and impact of the Shaw Mobile brand (as distinct from Freedom)”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back