Competition Bureau files court applications to block Rogers-Shaw merger

The Competition Bureau says it is seeking to block Rogers Communications Inc.’s proposed $26-billion acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc.

The federal regulator is asking the Competition Tribunal to prevent the deal from proceeding in a bid to protect Canadians from what it says would be higher prices, poorer service quality and fewer choices, particularly in wireless services.

It says it is asking the Competition Tribunal to prevent the deal from proceeding, as well as asking for an injunction to stop the two companies from closing the deal until the bureau’s application can be heard.

The Competition Bureau says Shaw’s presence in the wireless market has added significantly to competition in recent years but that its efforts have already started to backslide since the deal was announced last year.

Rogers and Shaw both said over the weekend that they plan to press ahead with the deal and fight the commissioner’s efforts to block it.

The Competition Bureau is one of three regulatory bodies whose approval is needed for the deal to go through. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission signed off earlier this year, while the companies also await approval from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

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