Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications and competition bureau will start a mediation process to settle issues in order to try closing Rogers’ C$20 billion ($15.5 billion) acquisition of Shaw.
Earlier, the antitrust agency blocked Rogers’ bid, saying the deal, which was launched in March 2021, will reduce competition in the telecoms industry and push up wireless bills in Canada. Canada’s top three mobile operators are Rogers, BCE and Telus – accounting for almost 90 percent of the industry’s revenue.
While Rogers offered a concession last week by agreeing to sell Shaw’s Freedom Mobile to Quebecor for C$2.85 billion, the competition bureau said the remedy measures must uphold competition in the wake of the merger.
The mediation could pave the way for a settlement, and avoid a legal battle in the Competition Tribunal, which decides the fate of contested deals.
“It is a sign to us that competition commissioner is not ideologically opposed to the transaction so there is a path towards conditional approval,” said Aaron Glick, director of New York-based Cowen.
The Competition Tribunal told Reuters in a statement that the parties have advised the tribunal that they wish to participate in the mediation set for July 4th and 5th, adding that all information related to any mediation would be confidential.