Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne mentioned he won’t 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 primary impediment to the deal’s approval, and Montreal-based Videotron earlier this 12 months agreed to purchase it for $2.85 billion.
But Champagne mentioned earlier than he would approve the Videotron deal, he requires further concessions.
He mentioned Videotron must conform to hold the Freedom wi-fi licences for a minimum of 10 years.
“A new service provider needs to be in it for the long run,” 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 according to Videotron’s present Quebec choices.
Champagne didn’t clarify whether or not a profitable sale of Freedom Mobile would imply the Rogers-Shaw deal may be permitted in any case.
As properly as Champagne’s approval, the Rogers-Shaw deal requires a inexperienced mild from the Competition Commissioner and the CRTC.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission supplied its conditional approval for the broadcasting portion of the deal in March.
The CRTC in March permitted Rogers’ acquisition of Shaw’s broadcasting companies, and laid out a collection of circumstances the corporate should meet. A mediation is scheduled for later this week between the Competition Commissioner and Rogers and Shaw.
This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Oct. 25, 2022.
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