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Minister Champagne’s merger approval ignores unlawful Rogers-Vidéotron agreements

March 31, 2023. Chatham, Ontario. TekSavvy Solutions Inc. (TekSavvy) is disappointed in today’s decision by Innovation Minister Champagne to approve the largest telecom deal in Canadian history – the Rogers-Shaw merger and the related sale of Shaw’s Freedom Mobile to Quebecor’s Vidéotron.

In approving the deal, Minister Champagne ignored the advice of the Competition Bureau, the House of Commons Industry Committee and the vast majority of Canadians, all of whom vocally opposed it. He also failed to keep a commitment he made last fall, that he would wait until there was legal clarity surrounding the merger before rendering his final decision.

Just last week, the CRTC opened its investigation into anticompetitive wholesale agreements at the centre of the merger. TekSavvy is challenging these unlawful agreements after Rogers confirmed it will grant Vidéotron access to its broadband network at preferential rates that are below the CRTC’s regulated rates, which will allow the oligopoly to kill what few smaller competitors remain.

“The Minister approved this anticompetitive merger despite the CRTC’s ongoing investigation,” said Peter Nowak, TekSavvy’s Vice-President of Insight and Engagement. “In the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, this decision further consolidates Canada’s telecom market and guarantees even higher prices for consumers.”

TekSavvy has long said federal approval for the merger must be contingent upon first enacting the CRTC’s 2019 decision to lower regulated wholesale rates. However, in May of 2022, Minister Champagne declined to implement that CRTC decision and instead endorsed much higher rates, as requested by Rogers, Shaw, Vidéotron and others.

Less than 12 months later, Shaw and Freedom Mobile are just the latest dominos to fall in the rapid ongoing collapse of competition in Canada’s telecom sector. The merger follows Bell’s acquisition of Ebox, Distributel and Primus; Vidéotron’s purchase of V-Media; Telus’s acquisition of and Altima; and Cogeco’s acquisition of Oxio, among others.

TekSavvy hopes that the CRTC’s investigation into Rogers’ and Videotron’s unlawful wholesale agreements results in meaningful action and stops the further dismantling of competition in the telecom market.

About TekSavvy

Based in Chatham, Ontario, TekSavvy is Canada’s largest independent telecom service company. TekSavvy has been proudly delivering award-winning services and fighting for consumers’ rights for more than 20 years. TekSavvy is committed to providing quality competitive choice and closing Canada’s digital divide.

For more information contact:

Trevor Campbell,
The iPR Group 647-201-5409
John Settino,
The iPR Group 416-662-2955


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