CRTC considering request to delay Rogers-Shaw hearing

The Commission offered Rogers an opportunity to submit information before the panel "renders a decision"

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is considering postponing the upcoming hearing about the Rogers-Shaw merger.

The news comes after Rogers responded to calls to delay the hearing from Bell, Telus and the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the National Pensioners Federation (NPF). In short, the telecom companies and advocacy groups requested that the CRTC postpone the Rogers-Shaw hearing slated for November 22nd because of the ongoing issues with Rogers’ executives as Rogers family members vie for control of the company.

According to a tweet from the National Post’s parliamentary reporter Anja Karadeglija, the CRTC responded to Rogers’ to give the company until Monday, November 8th at 1pm to provide supplemental information. You can read the CRTC response sent to Rogers’ senior vice president Ted Woodhead shared by Karadeglija below:

“The Commission is in receipt of a letter containing a procedural request from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and the National Pensioners Federation (PIAC-NPF) dated 1 November 2021. In that letter, PIAC-NPF requests that the Commission adjourn the public hearing initiated by Broadcasting Notice of Consultation CRTC 2021-281, scheduled to begin on 22 November 2021.

“Commission staff acknowledges that Rogers has already replied to PIAC-NPF’s procedural request, but will provide the opportunity for Rogers to submit any supplemental information it wishes before the panel renders a decision on the PIAC-NPF request. Rogers will have until Monday, 8 November 2021 at 1 p.m. EST to provide the supplemental information. A copy of this letter and all related correspondence will be added to the public record of the proceeding.”

In other words, the CRTC is considering the delay but we likely won’t hear a final decision until after the November 8th deadline.

Rogers says the family is “aligned” on the Shaw deal

Proponents for the delay argue that it’s not clear which of the two boards currently has authority for the company’s affairs. There are also concerns that changes to company leadership caused by the family feud may impact whether Rogers will hold to assurances it made in the Shaw acquisition.

Rogers previously countered those arguments in a filing, noting that the Rogers family is “aligned” on the Shaw deal and pledging to honour any commitments “regardless of any changes” to leadership.

Meanwhile, Edward Rogers (son of the late company founder, Ted Rogers) had lawyers in a Vancouver court this week arguing that B.C. law allows him to change the board in the way he did. Company lawyers, however, say that those kinds of changes necessitate a shareholder meeting.

You can read a full timeline of the Rogers family drama here.

Source: Anja Karadeglija (Twitter)