Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Alberta to intervene in the Shaw/Rogers deal

The Attorney General of Alberta will intervene in Rogers Communication’s C$26 billion acquisition of Shaw Communications, according to a filing to the Competition Tribunal on July 4.

“The Respondents [Rogers and Shaw] have significant presence in Alberta’s telecommunications market and their successes and failures will impact Alberta’s consumers, workers, and, potentially, other aspects of Alberta’s economy,” wrote the filing.

The filing further focused on Shaw’s Freedom Mobile and Shaw Mobile, which serve residents in Calgary, Edmonton, Red Deer, and other regions of the province.

“The decision to intervene at this time would allow the government to represent Alberta’s interests if needed and ensure that the proposed merger is in the best interests of consumers and the Canadian economy,” said a government spokesperson from Alberta’s Justice and Solicitor General office in an email statement.

The statement further reads that the merger’s effect on the province’s economy are unclear as the parties have yet to exchange materials in the proceeding.

“At this time, Alberta is only participating as an interested observer,” the statement reads.

Freedom Mobile currently has around two million subscribers in British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta. It has remained a sticking point in the deal since Rogers first announced its intention to acquire Shaw in 2021. In June, they agreed on an offer made by Quebecor, which owns Videotron in Quebec, to purchase Freedom Mobile for C$2.85 billion. Following the agreement, Rogers, Shaw, and the Competition Bureau began a mediation process to try and push the deal along.

Update July 6, 3:25 p.m.: The original article has been updated with comments from the Alberta government.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT World Canada. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at tli@itwc.ca.

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