Competition Bureau says Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. have agreed to preliminary injunction that prevents them from completing their $26 billion proposed merger until the Competition Tribunal hears a challenge of the commissioner.
The regulator says Rogers and Shaw have also agreed to the competition commissioner’s request for an expedited hearing process in court.
On May 9, the bureau filed a request to block Rogers’ purchase of Shaw, arguing that the transaction would result in worse service and higher prices for consumers.
He also alleged that Shaw’s withdrawal as a competitor would reverse the progress made in competition in the Canadian telecommunications sector over the years.
Rogers and Shaw said they would pursue the deal and fight the commissioner’s efforts to block it.
Other government agencies, including the CRTC, have already signed parts of the deal under certain conditions, but opposition from the Competition Bureau appears to be a surprisingly big stumbling block.
In March, Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne made it clear that the government would not allow the merger if it meant Rogers would retain all of Shaw’s wireless spectrum licenses, most of which are with Freedom Mobile. and its approximately two million cell phone subscribers. across Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta.
According to the office, Rogers agreed not to do anything “that limits Shaw’s ability to operate, maintain, improve or expand its wireless business.”
A spokesperson for Rogers did not immediately respond to a CBC News request for comment on Monday.