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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Rogers-Shaw merger could harm competition, consumers: TekSavvy

ISP says the CRTC and Competition Bureau must set strict regulatory conditions to ensure competitive markets for internet and mobile services.

March 31, 2021. Chatham, Ontario. TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (TekSavvy) today appeared before the Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology, during its study of the proposed Rogers-Shaw merger.

TekSavvy told MPs that the proposed merger is the product of a federal regulatory system that favours the big-players over consumers and smaller competitors. The company said federal regulators must set strict conditions to ensure competitive markets and affordable prices.

“The merger of these two massive vertically integrated companies needs to be made contingent on effective and efficient regulatory measures that promote competition for services and that protect consumers’ interests in the Canadian telecom sector,” said Andy Kaplan-Myrth, Vice-President Regulatory and Carrier Affairs. “It is clear that fewer viable competitors and further consolidation of market power will result in even worse outcomes for internet and mobile users in Canada.”

TekSavvy outlined key conditions for regulators deciding whether to approve the proposed merger. The company said the CRTC should implement its long-delayed 2019 wholesale internet rates decision, enable consumer choice on fibre, and mandate wholesale on mobile with Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) rules. In addition, the Competition Bureau must actively protect consumers and competition from abuses of market power, so that large companies don’t squeeze out their competitors with targeted anticompetitive practices, such as by using flanker brands to undercut them with retail pricing below wholesale costs.

TekSavvy noted that these practical regulatory measures would not only bring down prices for consumers, but also drive independent investment in network facilities, including in rural and underserved areas.

 “Canada needs to accelerate the building of networks to people in underserved areas,” said Andy Kaplan-Myrth, Vice-President Regulatory and Carrier Affairs. “To accomplish that, our broadband plan must include competition-by-design, and it must reject the false dichotomy between investment and competition. As TekSavvy continues to demonstrate, we can have both.”

About TekSavvy

TekSavvy has been proudly serving Canadians award-winning telecom services and fighting for consumers’ rights for more than 20 years. TekSavvy is committed to providing quality competitive choice and closing the digital divide in Canada. With over $250 million of planned broadband infrastructure investments by 2026, TekSavvy will continue to better connect underserved Canadians. TekSavvy has offices in Chatham, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec and is Canada’s largest independent telecom service company serving over 300,000 customers from coast to coast.

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