The Competition Tribunal of Canada announced the merger of two telecom companies, Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communication Inc., for $14.77 billion (C$20 billion)* on Thursday, which would create the country’s second-largest telecom provider after Bell.
This deal was blocked by Canada’s Antitrust Bureau on the basis that it would lessen competition in a country where wireless charges are among the highest in the world. On Thursday, the Competition Tribunal dismissed the Commissioner of Competitor’s request to oppose the deal, according to the reports.
The panel also said that the deal would not likely be “materially higher” prices or a decline in services, quality, or innovation. The deal has been seen as a test case of the Canadian Antitrust Bureau’s ability to foster competition in the country, where customers and advocates have complained about market concentration from industries such as telecom, banks, etc.
During the management conference held on November 1, the Bureau said it opposed the deal due to the overlapping of Shaw’s wireline and wireless assets.
With respect to this scenario, Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competition, said ━ “I am very disappointed that the Tribunal is dismissing our application to block the merger between Rogers and Shaw”.
Rogers and Shaw are yet to respond to the comment.
* ($1 = 1.3544 Canadian Dollars)