Rogers Communications Inc's $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. cleared the last regulatory hurdle Friday, more than two years after the deal was first announced.
Here's a look at some key moments leading up to this point:
March 15, 2021: Rogers announces an agreement to buy Shaw in a deal valued at $26 billion, including debt. Rogers says it will purchase all outstanding Class A and B shares of Shaw for $40.50 per share in cash, amounting to approximately $20 billion, and take on about $6 billion of debt owed by Shaw.
The sale requires approval from shareholders and Rogers expects to close the deal in the first half of 2022.
May 21, 2021: Shaw shareholders vote in favour of the proposed sale of the company to Rogers.
Nov. 22, 2021: The CRTC opens a five-day hearing to consider the Rogers-Shaw merger.
Nov. 25, 2021: BCE Inc. urges the CRTC to reject the proposed Rogers-Shaw deal, echoing concerns raised by broadcasters, producers and distributors about the market dominance Rogers would have if the deal were to be approved.
March 3, 2022: Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne says the federal government will block the wholesale transfer of wireless licences owned by Shaw to Rogers.
Rogers extends deadline to close the deal from June 13 to July 31.
March 24, 2022: The CRTC approves Rogers' acquisition of Shaw's broadcasting services, and lays out a series of conditions the company must meet.
May 7, 2022: Rogers extends deadline to close the deal from June 13 to July 31.
May 9, 2022: The Competition Bureau files an application to block Rogers' purchase of Shaw because it claims the transaction would lead to worse service and higher prices for consumers.
May 12, 2022: Quebecor Inc.'s CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau gives a strong signal that he would like to purchase Shaw-owned wireless carrier Freedom Mobile if regulators force Rogers to sell it as a requirement of the merger's approval.
May 19, 2022: Globalive Capital founder Anthony Lacavera reinforces his bid for Freedom Mobile, formerly Wind Mobile, by signing a network and spectrum sharing agreement with Telus Corp., conditional on Globalive's successful acquisition of Freedom. Lacavera founded Wind Mobile in 2008.
May 30, 2022: Rogers and Shaw agree to not close their deal until they have resolved the Competition Bureau's concerns, either through a negotiated agreement or via the Competition Tribunal.
June 2, 2022: Globalive says it has gone straight to Shaw with its $3.75-billion offer for wireless carrier Freedom Mobile due to a lack of engagement from Rogers.
June 17, 2022: Rogers and Shaw make deal to sell Freedom Mobile to Quebecor Inc.'s Videotron Ltd. for $2.85 billion in an attempt to ease the Competition Bureau’s concerns about the combination of the two companies.
June 24, 2022: Rogers, Shaw and the Competition Bureau agree to participate in a mediation process in July.
July 4, 2022: Two-day mediation period begins between Rogers, Shaw and the Competition Bureau.
July 6, 2022: Talks end with no resolution.
July 8, 2022: Rogers hit with widespread network outage that leaves millions of customers without mobile and internet service, and causes trouble for 9-1-1 services and debit transactions.
July 27, 2022: Rogers and Shaw extend deadline to close deal to Dec. 31, with a possible further extension to Jan. 31, 2023.
Aug. 12, 2022: Rogers and Shaw finalize deal to sell Freedom Mobile to Quebecor's Videotron for $2.85 billion. The parties say the agreement is consistent with the terms agreed upon on June 17, and is subject to regulatory approvals and the closing of the Rogers-Shaw deal.
Aug. 26, 2022: Competition Tribunal rules Rogers' July 8 service outage is relevant to the upcoming hearings on the proposed deal.
Oct. 14, 2022: Competition Tribunal confirms that a mediation will take place from Oct. 27 to Oct. 28 between Rogers, Shaw and the Competition Bureau. Quebecor will also take part.
Oct. 25, 2022: Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne puts new conditions on Rogers-Shaw deal, specifically targeting the sale of Freedom Mobile to Quebecor's Videotron, a key component in the proposed transaction between the telecom companies.
In a statement, Quebecor CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau says he intends to accept the industry minister's conditions, agreeing to incorporate them in a new version of the transaction.
Oct. 27, 2022: Mediation period with the Competition Bureau begins. Rogers, Shaw and Quebecor jointly release an evening statement saying the mediation did not yield a negotiated settlement.
Nov. 7, 2022: Hearings begin at the Competition Tribunal as the Competition Bureau seeks to block the deal outright.
Dec. 14, 2022: Hearings at the Competition Tribunal wrap with a commitment by adjudicators to make a decision as soon as possible.
Dec. 29, 2022: The Competition Tribunal dismisses the Competition Bureau's application for it to block the deal, concluding that it will not substantially prevent or lessen competition in wireless services in Western Canada.
Dec. 30, 2022: The Competition Bureau announces it will appeal the Competition Tribunal's decision. The companies announce they have extended the closing date to Jan. 31, 2023.
Dec. 31, 2022: Industry Minister Champagne says he will hold off on a decision on the deal until there is legal clarity.
Jan. 24, 2023: The Federal Court of Appeal dismisses the Competition Bureau's effort to overturn the Competition Tribunal's ruling. The Competition Bureau says it is disappointed but will not appeal further. Minister Champagne says he is reviewing the decision and will make a decision in due course.
Jan. 25, 2023: House of Commons Industry Committee meets on the Rogers-Shaw deal.
Jan. 30, 2023: The telecom companies involved in the deal extend the deadline to Feb. 17.
Feb. 17, 2023: The companies extend their deadline to close the deal to March 31.
March 31, 2023: Champagne gives the final regulatory approval to the deal by allowing the transfer of Freedom's wireless licences to Videotron, after it was first announced.
Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI.B, TSX:SJR.B, TSX:QBR.B)
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 31, 2023.
The Canadian Press