An economics professor says the large winners of Rogers Communications Inc.’s $26-billion proposed takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. can be the telecoms’ households and that low-income Canadians can be hit the toughest.
Speaking earlier than the Competition Tribunal Friday, Dalhousie University’s Lars Osberg stated low-income Canadians, who’re already going through inflationary pressures, will really feel probably the most ache if telecom costs enhance because of the merger.
Osberg stated entry to cell telephones and connectivity is simply as important as meals in immediately’s digital age.
Rogers pushed again towards Osberg’s claims, pointing to the CRTC’s choice to approve the deal, noting that the regulator examined how the merger would impression client pursuits, together with low-income households, seniors and folks with disabilities, earlier than doing so.
Rogers additionally referred to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s 2021 evaluation of wi-fi companies the place it lays out the expectation that telecom firms provide a low-cost plan, which it affords by way of its Fido model.
Additionally, Rogers pointed to the corporate’s intention to prolong its Connected for Success wireline program to Western Canada if the deal is accepted. The program affords high-speed web and bundled companies at a reduced worth to low-income Canadians.
Rogers stated it plans to introduce a Connected for Success wi-fi program nationally as properly if the deal is accepted.
The listening to earlier than the Competition Tribunal is predicted to final till mid-December and goals to resolve the deadlock between the Commissioner of Competition, who desires to block the deal, and Rogers and Shaw.
The Competition Bureau is certainly one of three regulatory businesses that should approve the deal, as well as to the CRTC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
Rogers desires to shut the Shaw deal by the tip of the yr, with a attainable additional extension to Jan. 31, 2023.