Telus says Rogers takeover of Shaw would harm competition, urges CRTC to reject

A Telus Corp. govt advised a CRTC listening to Tuesday that Rogers Communications Inc.’s proposed takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. is harmful for a similar purpose that Rogers is pursuing it — scale.

Throughout Monday’s opening day of hearings in Gatineau, Que. on the merger, Rogers executives mentioned the corporate wants to purchase Shaw so as to develop to the dimensions to get the type of scale wanted to compete towards rising competitors from firms like Netflix and Amazon.

Telus mentioned that reaching that scale would open the potential for Rogers to safe unique rights to worldwide content material, and make Rogers a de facto licensing authority for Canadian programming.

“This merger will vastly cut back competitors and shopper alternative, and can impoverish the variety of voices within the broadcasting system” mentioned Stephen Schmidt, vice-president telecom coverage and chief regulatory authorized counsel at Telus.

“The unprecedented scale will even flip Rogers right into a gatekeeper for Canadian programming companies, as a result of these companies will rely upon Rogers for his or her continued survival.“

Vancouver-based Telus mentioned that if the merger went forward, Rogers would have about 47 per cent of English-language broadcast subscribers and that its community would attain 80 per cent of Canadians.

The size, mixed with Rogers’ vertical integration of program creation and distribution, would give it great potential to management unique content material, he argued.

Schmidt mentioned that regulatory safeguards would not be sufficient to offset the aggressive benefit of that scale, and urged the regulator to reject the deal.

He additionally challenged Rogers’ argument that the deal was wanted to enhance infrastructure investments, noting that the $1 billion for rural infrastructure and $2.5 billion for 5G networks that Rogers has dedicated to pales in contrast with the $27.5 billion Telus has dedicated on fibre and 5G in B.C. and Alberta with none merger and that the spending would probably go forward in any case.

“The advantages are emphatically not vital,“ he mentioned.

Rogers mentioned Monday that the deal would improve competitors, particularly by transferring into rural areas which are presently solely served by Telus.

Rogers wouldn’t assure that Shaw prospects wouldn’t see price will increase, however mentioned competitors from Telus would act as a verify on costs.

Schmidt mentioned Telus wouldn’t find a way to compete, nevertheless, if it didn’t have entry to the content material that Rogers would find a way to supply.

The hearings on the CRTC are targeted on the broadcasting features of the merger, whereas different points corresponding to cell wi-fi companies can be reviewed by the Competitors Bureau and from Innovation, Science and Financial Improvement Canada.

A number of different intervenors together with BCE Inc. and shopper advocacy teams are additionally set to communicate on the hearings that proceed by means of the week, with Rogers set to reply to feedback on Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed Nov. 23, 2021.

Firms on this story: (TSX:RCI.B; TSX:SJR.B; TSX:T)

Telus says Rogers takeover of Shaw would harm competitors, urges CRTC to reject Source link Telus says Rogers takeover of Shaw would harm competitors, urges CRTC to reject

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