Business minister says he’s in no hurry to log out on Rogers-Shaw merger

OTTAWA —The federal minister inspecting the remaining hurdle to the large Rogers-Shaw telecom merger says he’s in no hurry to provide it the green-light.

Business Minister François-Philippe Champagne informed the Star he has checked out —however needs to extra absolutely perceive — Tuesday’s resolution by the Federal Courtroom of Attraction that permitted the merger of the 2 communications giants.

The Competitors Bureau has already determined to not enchantment that ruling, that means that after two years of regulatory hurdles, the deal has cleared most different phases of approval, together with opinions by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Fee and shareholders.

Nevertheless, a part of the merger settlement is a aspect deal for Shaw to promote Freedom Cellular’s wi-fi enterprise to Vidéotron — which requires a switch of Shaw’s license for wi-fi spectrum (the airwaves used to construct cellphone networks), topic to the minister’s approval. With out that approval, the enterprise switch is all however ineffective.

Champagne has mentioned he needs assurances that Vidéotron will provide lower-cost providers over a 10-year interval, and informed reporters this week he needs to see “extra competitors, extra affordability and innovation within the sector — and that is what’s going to be guiding my resolution.”

In an interview in his workplace Thursday, Champagne mentioned there have been “discussions about ensuring that these circumstances are enforceable. And the factor that I can say — I’m a lawyer, so we’ll guarantee that these undertakings are binding, and that there could be penalties” for failures to fulfill them.

He wouldn’t specify how any such circumstances may very well be enforced, saying solely “completely different choices” are actually being thought-about.

The businesses have a Jan. 31 deadline to shut the $26-billion merger deal, however Champagne made it clear he doesn’t really feel compelled to behave by that date, and would decide “sooner or later.”

“Because the regulator, I’m not sure by any deadline,” he mentioned.

A day minister earlier, the Home of Commons business committee heard witnesses urge the minister to dam the deal outright or impose new circumstances to ensure higher costs for shoppers.


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