Canadian industry minister denies Rogers-Shaw telecom merger

Oct 25, 2022, 8:24 PM | Updated: 8:29 pm

OTTAWA, Canada (AP) — Canada’s federal industry minister said Tuesday he would not approve a multi-billion-dollar merger between Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications, two of the country’s largest telecommunication companies.

Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne did leave the door open to a revised agreement.

The US$19.1 billion (Cdn$26 billion) proposed merger would have meant the wholesale transfer of wireless spectrum licenses from Shaw to Rogers, which requires Champagne’s approval.

“Today, I officially denied that request,” Champagne said. “My decision formally closes that chapter of the original proposed transaction.”

Shaw’s ownership of Freedom Mobile has widely been seen as the main obstacle to the deal’s approval. Montreal-based Videotron earlier this year agreed to buy it for US$2.1 billion (Cdn$2.85 billion).

Champagne said he needed two specific concessions before he would approve the Videotron deal.

Videotron would have to agree to keep the Freedom wireless licenses for at least 10 years, he said.

“We don’t want someone to flip these licenses, we want them to be in it for the long term,” he said.

Secondly, Champagne said he would “expect to see´´ wireless prices in Ontario and Western Canada lowered by about 20 per cent, putting them in line with Videotron’s current Quebec offerings.

Karl Peladeau, CEO of Quebecor Inc., which owns Videotron, said he intends to accept Champagne’s conditions.

In a statement, Peladeau said Quebecor agrees to incorporate the industry minister’s stipulations in a new version of the transaction, paving the way for Freedom’s sale to go through.

Champagne did not make clear whether a successful sale of Freedom Mobile would mean the Rogers-Shaw deal might still be approved.

As well as Champagne’s approval, the Rogers-Shaw deal requires a green light from the Competition Commissioner and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)

The CRTC offered its conditional approval for the broadcasting portion of the deal in March.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

2 dead as bomber hits Pakistan police protecting polio teams

QUETTA, Pakistan (AP) — A suicide bomber blew himself up near a truck carrying police officers on their way to protect polio workers outside Quetta on Wednesday, killing two people and wounding more than 20 others, mostly policemen, officials said. Ghulam Azfer Mehser, a senior police officer, said the attack happened when the policemen were […]
24 hours ago
Lauren Gilbert, a senior manager at the Center for Jewish History (CJH), participate in a global on...
Associated Press

Holocaust survivors offered DNA tests to help find family

NEW YORK (AP) — For decades, Jackie Young had been searching. Orphaned as an infant, he spent the first few years of his life in a Nazi internment camp in what is now the Czech Republic. After World War II he was taken to England, adopted and given a new name. As an adult, he […]
24 hours ago
John Kraft sits next to his yawning cat, Tux, at his hilltop farmhouse in Clear Lake, Wis., Wednesd...
Associated Press

No longer fringe, small-town voters fear democracy’s demise

HUDSON, Wis. (AP) — A word — “Hope” — is stitched onto a throw pillow in the little hilltop farmhouse. Photographs of children and grandchildren speckle the walls. In the kitchen, an envelope is decorated with a hand-drawn heart. “Happy Birthday, My Love,” it reads. Out front, past a pair of century-old cottonwoods, the neighbors’ […]
24 hours ago
FILE - Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of N.Y., right, listens as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi o...
Associated Press

Congress prepares to take up bill preventing rail strike

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is moving swiftly to prevent a looming U.S. rail workers strike, reluctantly intervening in a labor dispute to stop what would surely be a devastating blow to the nation’s economy if the transportation of fuel, food and other critical goods were disrupted. The House was expected to act first on Wednesday […]
24 hours ago
FILE - A man protests outside the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors auditorium prior to the boar...
Associated Press

Election certification delays few, but a ‘test run’ for 2024

Before November, election officials prepared for the possibility that Republicans who embraced former President Donald Trump’s lies about voter fraud would challenge the verdict of voters by refusing to certify the results. Three weeks after the end of voting, such challenges are playing out in just two states, Arizona and Pennsylvania, where Democrats won the […]
24 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: November 30, birth of Winston Churchill

Today in History Today is Wednesday, Nov. 30, the 334th day of 2022. There are 31 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 30, 1782, the United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris for ending the Revolutionary War; the Treaty of Paris was signed in September 1783. On […]
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Canadian industry minister denies Rogers-Shaw telecom merger