Skip to content

Dismissal of the Competitors Bureau’s enchantment on the Rogers-Shaw settlement

The Competitors Bureau won’t have one other probability to stop Rogers Communications from buying Shaw Communications, the Federal Courtroom of Attraction dominated on Tuesday.

Choose David Stratas decided that the Competitors Bureau’s arguments weren’t enough to overturn the December resolution of the Competitors Tribunal, which had accredited the wedding between the 2 telecommunications teams, a transaction valued at 26 billions of {dollars}.

“It’s not sufficient to tug the leaves and the branches and depart the tree standing, quite the entire tree should fall,” he mentioned in his resolution rendered on the bench, even earlier than till the businesses involved have given their response.

The Competitors Tribunal made it clear that the transaction was unlikely to stop or reduce competitors considerably, and its resolution was supported by ample proof, Justice Stratas mentioned.

Authorized points

“Even when the Competitors Tribunal had been improper on the slim factors of legislation that the Commissioner is now elevating on this court docket, we’re not persuaded that the result can be any totally different. It’s due to this fact pointless to refer this case to the Competitors Tribunal. »

The Bureau’s arguments targeted on what they thought of to be 4 key authorized errors concerning the function of Shaw’s wi-fi provider Freedom Cellular’s proposed sale to Videotron within the court docket’s resolution.

Bureau lawyer Alexander Homosexual argued that the court docket ought to have assessed the deal as initially proposed, earlier than the sale of Shaw’s Freedom Cellular to Quebecor-owned Videotron was added.

If the settlement had been assessed as a treatment for competitors issues, quite than an integral a part of the settlement, it might not have held up, in keeping with Mr. Homosexual.

“It is nearly totally a sequence of service agreements between rivals. This might not have been thought of,” added Me Homosexual.

“It is an enormous mistake. And I feel that offers sufficient doubt to this case that it ought to be fired for that very purpose. »

Choose Strata mentioned the merger evaluation alone, which couldn’t go ahead with out Freedom Cellular’s divestiture, can be “a foray into fiction and fantasy,” and that the court docket just isn’t chained to the earlier construction of the transaction.

Among the points raised by the Competitors Bureau have been challenged as a mix of questions of reality and legislation, whereas the Courtroom of Attraction can solely think about questions of legislation, Justice Stratas identified.

“The commissioner appears to ask us to reassess the proof, which we can’t do. »

The deal, which Rogers hopes to shut by Jan. 31, nonetheless requires approval from federal Business Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

The minister mentioned in a press release that he was reviewing the Federal Courtroom of Attraction’s resolution and would decide on the deal sooner or later.

“The promotion of competitors and affordability within the telecommunications sector has at all times been, and stays, my high precedence,” mentioned Mr. Champagne.

The Competitors Tribunal accredited the deal on December 30, after greater than 4 weeks of hearings. Rogers and Shaw first introduced their deal in March 2021.

Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications and Quebecor applauded Tuesday’s court docket resolution.

“We welcome this clear, unequivocal and unanimous resolution by the Federal Courtroom of Attraction,” they mentioned in a joint assertion.

“We’re pursuing with Innovation, Science and Financial Improvement Canada to acquire the ultimate approval we have to full these transactions. These will promote competitors and create a robust fourth wi-fi service supplier in Canada and a stronger competitor within the wireline market. »

Advocacy group OpenMedia mentioned in a press release that the deal because it stands means much less selection and better costs.

“The deal the Tribunal has accepted continues to be horrible for abnormal Canadians,” mentioned OpenMedia’s Director of Campaigns, Matt Hatfield.

He urged Minister Champagne to dam the deal and as an alternative set decrease charges for web service suppliers to entry the infrastructure.

The Home of Commons Business and Know-how Committee, which beforehand spoke out in opposition to the deal, is because of meet on Wednesday to rethink the deal.

Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competitors, mentioned he was deeply disillusioned that the Federal Courtroom of Attraction dismissed their enchantment.

“Whereas right now’s developments are discouraging, we stay assured of the correctness of the findings of our investigation and the soundness of our resolution to problem the merger,” he mentioned in a press release Tuesday night. .

“We introduced a stable and rigorous case to the Tribunal after having carried out an in-depth examination of the details. »

Though the Competitors Bureau disagrees with the Tribunal’s findings, Boswell mentioned they settle for the choice and won’t enchantment additional.

To see in video

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *