Rogers’ $16 bn deal to buy Shaw rejected by Canada regulator

Canada’s Commissioner of Competition aims to oppose the proposed C$20 billion ($16 billion) merger deal between Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications, the companies said in a statement early Saturday.
Rogers 5G network in Canada
The Commissioner of Competition notified the companies on Friday afternoon of its intention to file applications to the Competition Tribunal opposing the merger.

Rogers and Shaw have proposed selling Shaw’s wireless business, Freedom Mobile, to address concerns regarding the possible impact of the merger deal on Canada’s competitive wireless market.

“Rogers and Shaw are engaged in a process to sell Freedom Mobile, with a view to addressing concerns raised by the Commissioner of Competition and ISED,” the companies said in the statement, adding that they remain committed to the merger.

Rogers announced last year that it would be buying Shaw in a deal that would create Canada’s second-largest cellular and cable operator, however, investors and analysts believed that regulatory risks were imminent.

Meanwhile, Globe and Mail reported on Friday that Rogers has asked telecom company Quebecor to join a bid for Shaw’s Freedom Mobile.

Rogers earlier said it will be investing $2.5 billion to build 5G networks across Western Canada over the next five years.

Rogers will be establishing a $1 billion Rogers Rural and Indigenous Connectivity Fund dedicated to connecting rural, remote, and Indigenous communities across Western Canada.

Rogers will offer an additional $3 billion to support network, services, and technology investments. Rogers will be creating up to 3,000 new jobs in Western Canada.