Canada’s Rogers Communications has extended the deadline for its C$20 billion deal to buy rival Shaw Communications for the fourth time to March 31 as the companies await the final nod from industry minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.
The deal to create Canada’s No. 2 telecoms company was previously expected to close on Feb. 17 following a successful end to the long-drawn battle with the competition bureau for approval.
The bureau’s biggest concern was the deal would lessen competition in a country where wireless bills are already among the highest in the world.
To address the issue, Rogers and Shaw agreed to sell Freedom Mobile, a wireless business owned by Shaw, to Quebecor for C$2.85 billion ($2.11 billion).
Francois-Philippe Champagne’s approval is needed to transfer spectrum licenses of Shaw’s Freedom Mobile unit to Quebecor’s Videotron. The minister has previously expressed support for the deal if certain conditions were met.