Competition Bureau issues request for information about Rogers-Shaw deal

The Bureau wants 'relevant information' to assist with its investigation into whether the deal will hurt competition

Rogers and Shaw logos on an iPhone

Canada’s Competition Bureau has issued a request for information (RFI) to gather facts about Rogers’s proposed Shaw Communications acquisition.

In a notice posted on the Bureau’s website this week, it welcomed market participants and Canadians to “submit relevant information to assist the Bureau with its investigation.”

Specifically, the Bureau says it’s investigating whether the proposed merger “is likely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition for mobile wireless, wireline internet and broadcasting services.”

Additionally, the Bureau says it’s seeking information to assess the impact on competition in several areas, including mobile wireless services to consumers, consumer and small business internet services, fibre transport services, supply of programming to television providers and more.

Earlier this year, the Bureau said that it received a “higher than normal volume” of feedback over the proposed Rogers-Shaw deal — it later pledged to conduct a “thorough” review of the acquisition. In August, the Bureau also received court orders to advance its review of the deal.

The Competition Bureau is one of several regulators that must review and ultimately approve the proposed acquisition for it to move forward. Along with the Bureau, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) will examine the transfer of broadcasting assets. The Commission will hold a public hearing about the proposed acquisition on November 22nd.

Currently, Rogers, Bell and Telus are arguing about the deal via submissions to the CRTC. Most recently, Rogers accused Bell and Telus of trying to block the acquisition to avoid competition.

The Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) will also need to approve the transfer of spectrum licences.

Should Rogers receive regulatory approval, the Shaw deal will likely close in the first half of 2022.

Those looking to submit information to the Competition Bureau’s RFI have until October 29th, 2021 to do so. Further, the Bureau says it will keep any information shared with it confidential. You can make an RFI submission to the Bureau here.

Source: Competition Bureau