OTTAWA – 24 March 2022 – Consumers, especially in the west, will be hurt by the CRTC’s decision today to approve Rogers Communications Inc.’s (Rogers) take-over of Shaw Communications Inc.’s (Shaw) broadcasting interests, including cable TV, IPTV and satellite TV distribution based largely in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, said the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC).
“Shaw customers should get set for higher TV and internet prices, and a ‘forced march’ to Rogers’ Ignite TV platform,” noted John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel of PIAC. PIAC intervened, along with the National Pensioners Federation (NPF), before the national communications regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. The hearings were the CRTC-regulated part of the larger proposed Rogers-Shaw acquisition.
“We were particularly disappointed that the CRTC appears to have completely ignored the potential cost effect on consumers – in particular during a time of extreme reliance of Canadians on broadcasters in Canada to get news and information on critical events such as wars and pandemics,” continued Lawford. “There is an uncritical acceptance of bald assurances of ‘improvements’ to the broadcasting system that we are convinced were disproven by our evidence, that of other broadcasters and independent producers, and the majority of those Canadians who expressed their opinion on the deal.”
PIAC will study its options for continuing to oppose the broadcasting take-over as well as to oppose, before the Competition Bureau and elsewhere, the merger as detrimental to the interests of all Canadians, including in particular seniors and vulnerable consumers.
For more information, please contact:
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
Executive Director and General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
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