OTTAWA, December 30, 2022 – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today denounced the unseemly rush to judgment of the Competition Tribunal to approve the acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc. by Rogers Communications Inc., including selling Freedom Mobile to Videotron Ltd., part of Québecor Media Inc.
“Consumers now face a decade of competitive winter, with higher cellphone, home Internet, cable, satellite and Internet TV and home phone prices,” said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel of PIAC. “This Decision represents a failure of every promise of the federal government to lower prices, every promise of the competition regulator to block the merger and improve competition in telecommunications and the failure of the quasi-judicial overseer, the Competition Bureau to see the issue from a consumer viewpoint as well.”
PIAC together with the National Pensioners Federation (NPF) have consistently argued against the merger due to concerns with excessive concentration and scale in several key communications consumer markets, both regional and national.
PIAC also has argued for improvements to the Competition Act that would assist the regulator in opposing major mergers affecting consumer welfare, including a repeal of the “efficiencies defence”, among other improvements.
PIAC and NPF will now study the full Decision when available and consider responses and options on behalf of consumers and seniors.
For more information, please contact:
Executive Director and General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC)
(613) 562-4002 ext. 125