Rogers-Shaw deal: Competition watchdog ‘disappointed’ after major hurdle crossed – National

The Competition Court has rejected an application from Canada’s competition watchdog to prevent Rogers Communications Inc. proposed purchase of Shaw Communications Inc. valued at $26 billion, clearing the way for the deal to proceed.

The Competition Bureau Canada has argued that merging the two telecommunications companies would reduce competition in the telecom market, drive prices higher and lead to poor service.

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Rogers-Shaw settlement removes major hurdle after Competition Court rules in favor

However, in a summary of the decision released on Thursday, the Court said the merger would not result in significantly higher prices.

It said the deal, which included the sale of Shaw-owned Freedom Mobile to Videotron Ltd. owned by Quebecor, would not be able to prevent or substantially reduce competition.

The deal still needs Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s approval.

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Competition Canada said it was disappointed with the court’s decision.

“I am very disappointed that the Court rejected our application to block the merger between Rogers and Shaw,” Matthew Boswell, Competition Commissioner, said in a brief statement late Thursday. “We are carefully considering our next steps.”

The deal’s current end date is Saturday, although the parties have the option to extend it until the end of January if needed.

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