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A quick look at some of the reaction to Ottawa's approval of the Rogers-Shaw deal

TORONTO — Rogers Communications Inc.'s proposed $26-billion purchase of Shaw Communications Inc.
Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne holds up a contract between the telecoms and the federal government as he speaks at a news conference about the Rogers-Shaw merger on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, March 31, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle

TORONTO — Rogers Communications Inc.'s proposed $26-billion purchase of Shaw Communications Inc. cleared its final regulatory hurdle Friday after Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne approved the transfer or wireless spectrum licenses from Shaw's Freedom Mobile to Quebecor Inc.'s Videotron.

Here's what some people are saying about the decision: 

"If Canadians do not begin to see clear and meaningful reduction in prices within a reasonable amount of time, I will have no choice but to seek further legislative and regulatory powers to drive down prices in Canada, and I can tell you that everything is on the table." — Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne.


"We are very pleased to move forward with this transformative merger and proudly deliver on our commitments to enhance and expand network coverage, connect underserved communities, and improve access for low-income Canadians." — Tony Staffieri, president and CEO of Rogers. 


"In today’s telecommunications industry, we recognize that companies need even greater scale to compete and make ongoing investments for future technology. This merger will provide the scale necessary for the future success and competitiveness of the wireline business that Shaw has built over the past five decades." — Brad Shaw, executive chair and CEO of Shaw.


"The approval of this merger shows once again why we need a strong reform of our competition laws, a price cap to lower the bills of Canadians and more measures to bring competition." — NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh.


"This deal will take advantage of Canadians' wallets, there's no sugar-coating it. More market power in fewer hands will always lead to higher prices and, in this case, a slower pace of wireless industry innovation." — Globalive Inc. chairman Anthony Lacavera, who sought to buy Shaw's Freedom Mobile wireless business.


"It's a massive betrayal that’s only made worse coming from a government that has long-promised improved telecom affordability. Despite press releases claiming otherwise, Minister Champagne's putting the nail in the coffin of competition in telecommunications in Canada." —  OpenMedia executive director Laura Tribe.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 31, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI.B, TSX:SJR.B, TSX:QBR.B)

The Canadian Press