Competition Bureau seeks to block Rogers-Shaw deal in bid to fight higher wireless prices

The bureau alleges that the deal would lead to higher prices, poorer service quality and fewer options, especially in wireless services.

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In an effort to protect Canadians from high prices, poor service quality and fewer options, the Competition Bureau says it is hiring Rogers Communications Inc., particularly in wireless services. Wants to block the proposed $26 billion acquisition of

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Noting that its application to the Competition Tribunal “cannot be heard”, the Competition Bureau said in a statement on Monday, “The Bureau … is requesting an injunction to restrain the parties from closing the deal” That he has to prove his case before the Tribunal. Order to stop the transaction.

“The Competition Bureau conducted a rigorous investigation of the proposed Rogers-Shaw merger and concluded that it would substantially prevent or reduce competition in wireless services,” Competition Commissioner Matthew Boswell said in a statement.

The bureau alleges that removing Shaw as a competitor threatens to undo the “significant progress” made by introducing more competition in an already focused wireless services market, where Rogers, Bell and Telus account for nearly 87 percent of Canada. serve customers.

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Boswell said, “eliminating Shaw will remove a strong, independent competitor in the Canadian wireless market – which has lowered prices, made data more accessible and provided innovative services to its customers.” “

“We are taking action to block this merger to maintain competition and choice for an essential service that Canadians expect to be affordable and of high quality.”

Shaw is down 13 percent and down 6.8 percent to $35.03 as of 2:15 p.m. in Toronto. Rogers was down 2.8 percent.

The Federal Competition Authority said its “extensive investigation” into the proposed merger has determined that competition between Rogers and Shaw has already waned.

What’s more, the bureau’s position is that if the proposed merger is allowed to go ahead, the damage “will continue and may worsen.”

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The bureau’s application to the tribunal alleged that the merger would substantially inhibit or reduce competition by eliminating an established, independent and low-priced competitor, both within and outside of Shaw’s existing service area, 5G. will prevent future competition for wireless services including, and will prevent competition. In wireless services for business customers in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

“The bureau argues that Shaw, which provides wireless services to more than two million customers in Ontario, Alberta and BC, is Rogers’ closest competitor,” said Monday’s statement, adding that Shaw “continues to keep the Big 3 in its hands”. The challenge is to improve the quality.” Attracting network and customers through its aggressive pricing, big data perks and service innovations.

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The investigation found that Shaw has reduced prices and made wireless data more accessible to consumers, who pay some of the highest prices for wireless services in the developed world since entering the wireless market in 2016. Huh.

This has allowed Shaw to double his wireless customer base, and bring data prices down to where he had previously increased year-over-year.

The bureau said that prior to the merger announcement, Shaw had planned to enter new wireless markets, launch 5G networks and expand its wireless services for businesses.

“Since then, investment in its network has declined. In addition, Shaw’s reduced marketing and promotional activity has resulted in an overall loss of competition in the market,” the statement said.

With additional reporting from Bloomberg

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