The Competition Tribunal is expected to hear closing arguments today on whether to block the $26 billion merger of Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. .
Oral argument is expected to be the final step in the hearing before Federal Court Chief Justice Paul Crampton mulls over the testimony he heard last month and issues a decision.
The matter ended before Crampton after Rogers announced its intention to acquire Shaw in March 2021 and the Competition Bureau decided that approving the deal would result in higher mobile phone bills and lower quality of service.
To assuage the bureau’s concerns, Rogers and Shaw said that Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron Ltd. will buy Shaw’s Freedom Mobile for $2.85 billion, but federal regulators are still not satisfied.
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approved the deal in March, and Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said he would only do so if Videotron agreed to keep Freedom’s wireless license for at least 10 years and wireless prices in Ontario and western Canada were lowered. Will approve the transaction about 20%.
Trevor Shaw, Shaw’s chief financial officer, said he sees no other viable path forward for his company if the deal is not approved.