June 19, 2024

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Company lawyers slam Competition Bureau’s ‘hyperbolic’ arguments as Rogers-Shaw merger hearing wraps up

Company lawyers slam Competition Bureau’s ‘hyperbolic’ arguments as Rogers-Shaw merger hearing wraps up

Attorneys for Rogers and Shaw insist the companies’ merger will lead to a renewed fight for house web prospects in Western Canada, even though a aspect deal with Vidéotron will see the “maverick” wi-fi operator make a daring push outdoors its property province, yet another purchaser gain.

It’s a starkly different eyesight of a post-offer globe than the a person painted a working day earlier by the Competition Bureau as the two sides make their ultimate submissions this week right after a 4-week listening to on the $26-billion transaction.

Legal professionals representing the bureau told a panel of the Competitors Tribunal on Tuesday that the very long-debated offer for Rogers to purchase Shaw, which was first declared in March 2021, would depart Vidéotron dependent on Rogers — just one of its biggest rivals — for help competing exterior of Quebec.

Before this year, Rogers struck a facet offer to sell Flexibility Cell, Shaw’s wireless enterprise that operates in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta, to Vidéotron for $2.85 billion.

But the bureau has argued that does not tackle worries it has about a drop in competitiveness in the wireless field. It maintains that Montreal-based mostly Vidéotron will not have the benefit of owning its personal cable community in the West and will have to count on purchasing wholesale entry to other networks in buy to provide world-wide-web and Television deals, a much less successful organization product.

In their possess last arguments Wednesday, counsel for the organizations slammed the bureau’s submissions as “hyperbolic,” “troubling” and “overstated.”

“The (Opposition Bureau’s) initiatives to deride Vidéotron’s potential to contend successfully in the wi-fi business enterprise in Western Canada are entirely without the need of advantage,” mentioned Kent Thomson, a attorney for Shaw.

He mentioned Vidéotron has been in the wi-fi industry for much more than a 10 years and “played the position of maverick” in Quebec, encouraging to push down cellphone prices in that province to the cheapest in Canada.

“Vidéotron has the know-how, the sources, the ideas, the capability to reshape considerably levels of competition in the wireless marketplaces in all of Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia in a way that will advantage customers in all these provinces,” Thomson explained.

John Rook, a lawyer for Vidéotron said the company has very long wanted to obtain Flexibility Cellular and set forth a specific organization program for success if it closes the offer for the carrier and its 1.7 million cellphone shoppers.

On the house world wide web front, Thomson stated Shaw has been losing ground for several years to its western rival Telus, which he painted as a much bigger and richer firm.

He claimed that because Shaw purchased Wind Cellular in 2016 (it rebranded the provider as Freedom right after earning community updates), Telus has vastly outspent Shaw on investments to enhance web companies. Shaw, in the meantime, was hard cash-strapped as it scrambled to commit in its new wi-fi business enterprise, he claimed.

“Rogers is a significantly much larger and greater resourced business than Shaw,” Thomson explained, introducing, If this transaction is permitted to move forward, Rogers will bring to bear its tremendous practical experience, expertise, scale and resources to contend aggressively and successfully against Telus.”

Rogers and Shaw have also argued that Telus and to a lesser extent Bell lobbied the Competitors Bureau to problem the deal since it signifies a aggressive threat to their have organization pursuits.

On Tuesday, legal professionals for the Competition Bureau argued that Shaw is not basically in dire monetary straits, pointing, among the other issues, to its investment-quality credit rating.

Levels of competition industry experts say the legislation is probable on Rogers and Shaw’s side.

If the Competitiveness Tribunal does not block the offer, the firms even now demand acceptance from the Innovation Minister, François-Philippe Champagne, ahead of they can close the transaction.

He reported in October that if he had been to approve the transfer of licences to use wi-fi spectrum licences to Vidéotron, he would be expecting the enterprise to make a lengthy-expression determination and give reduced price ranges.

Thomson observed Wednesday that Pierre Karl Péladeau, CEO and controlling shareholder of Vidéotron’s proprietor Quebecor, quickly agreed to individuals ailments in a public statement.

Rook stated Vidéotron plans to live up to people conditions but if it does not, he recommended that the minister could revoke the wireless licences.

The judge overseeing the situation has indicated he would like to have a selection in brief purchase. The deadline to near the transaction is Jan. 31 and Rogers will confront supplemental expenses to extend its financial debt funding if the process drags into following year.

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