Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne mentioned he is not going to approve the proposed deal between Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc., although he left the door open to a revised settlement.
The $26-billion proposed merger would have meant the wholesale switch of wi-fi spectrum licences from Shaw to Rogers, which requires Champagne’s approval.
“Today, I officially denied that request,” he mentioned Tuesday night. “My decision formally closes that chapter of the original proposed transaction.”
Shaw’s possession of Freedom Mobile has broadly been seen as the principle hurdle to the deal’s approval, and Montreal-based Videotron earlier this 12 months agreed to purchase it for $2.85 billion.
But Champagne says earlier than he would approve the Videotron deal, he wants two particular concessions.
He says Videotron must conform to preserve the Freedom wi-fi licences for not less than 10 years.
“We don’t want someone to flip these licences, we want them to be in it for the long term,” he mentioned.
Secondly, he mentioned he would “expect to see” wi-fi costs in Ontario and Western Canada lowered by about 20 per cent, placing them in keeping with Videotron’s present Quebec choices.
Champagne didn’t clarify whether or not a profitable sale of Freedom Mobile would imply the Rogers-Shaw deal would possibly nonetheless be permitted. He mentioned his circumstances for Freedom’s licence switch had been clear.
“There is a chapter that is closed – Shaw-Rogers, that’s closed. There’s a new chapter opening.”
As nicely as Champagne’s approval, the Rogers-Shaw deal required a inexperienced mild from the Competition Commissioner and the CRTC.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission provided its conditional approval for the broadcasting portion of the deal in March.
A mediation is scheduled for later this week between the Competition Commissioner and Rogers and Shaw. The Competition Bureau is making an attempt to dam the merger, saying that the sale of Freedom Mobile doesn’t go far sufficient to get rid of its issues that telecom payments would improve amid diminished competitors.
Champagne’s approval is required for any spectrum licence switch.
This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Oct. 25, 2022.
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