The Canadian Competition Tribunal dismisses the Competition Authority’s challenge over a merger between two of Canada’s four biggest broadband providers (Rogers / Shaw)

Statement from the Commissioner of Competition on the Competition Tribunal’s Information Note regarding the Rogers-Shaw merger*

Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competition, issued the following statement regarding the Competition Tribunal’s Information Note indicating it intends to dismiss the Competition Bureau’s challenge of Rogers’ proposed acquisition of Shaw.

“I am very disappointed that the Tribunal is dismissing our application to block the merger between Rogers and Shaw. We are carefully considering our next steps.”

Background:

In May 2022, the Competition Bureau filed court applications with the Competition Tribunal seeking a full block of Rogers’ proposed acquisition of Shaw.

The Bureau took action to preserve competition and choice for wireless services - an essential service that Canadians expect to be affordable and high quality.

An extensive investigation of the proposed merger determined that competition between Rogers and Shaw has already declined. The Bureau’s position continues to be that if the proposed merger is allowed to proceed, that harm will continue and may worsen.

The Bureau’s application to the Tribunal alleged that eliminating Shaw would significantly increase Rogers’ national market share – already the largest among the Big 3 - and would significantly increase its market power. In addition, the Bureau alleged that removing a strong regional competitor like Shaw will likely result in consumers paying significantly higher wireless prices. The Bureau continues to be of the view that sale of the Freedom wireless business to Videotron is not sufficient to address the anti-competitive effects of the merger.

The hearing of the application began on November 7, 2022 and ran through December 8, 2022. Closing oral arguments took place on December 13 and 14, respectively.

The Tribunal released an Information Note regarding the matter on December 29, 2022.

*This is the original title of the press release. The title above has been amended in order to match the e-Competitions format. Individual authors are welcome to provide original independent commentaries on the case law. Articles are subject to approval by the Board of e-Competitions Bulletin before publication based on the Editorial Policy (click here).

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Canadian Competition Bureau, The Canadian Competition Tribunal dismisses the Competition Authority’s challenge over a merger between two of Canada’s four biggest broadband providers (Rogers / Shaw), 29 December 2022, e-Competitions December 2022, Art. N° 110454

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