Judge’s request to reach compromise on Rogers-Shaw deal prior to hearing disregarded

The Competition Bureau says it wants to block the merger in its entirety

Rogers and Shaw logos on an iPhone

The hearing between Rogers-Shaw and the Competition Bureau over the former’s merger plans will start in a week, and attempts to streamline the process are failing.

Representatives from both sides have been going back and forth in front of Chief Justice Crampton. Crampton asked the two sides if they could reach a compromise. The most recent case management conference between the parties shows that it likely won’t be possible.

In a Tuesday meeting, the Competition Bureau said it wouldn’t accept anything less than entirely blocking the merger. Anything other than that “would not eliminate the substantial prevention and lessening of competition that arises from this transaction,” Derek Leschinsky, a lawyer for the Competition Bureau, said.

The bureau said the acquisition would lead to several problems for Canadians, including less competition in Canada’s wireless market. Rogers and Shaw said they would sell Freedom Mobile to Vidéotron to appease concerns. However, the move hasn’t won the favour of the bureau.

“There is no world in which Rogers will acquire Freedom Mobile,” Kent Thomson, a lawyer representing Shaw, said. “Freedom will be gone, in the hands of an independent company called Vidéotron, before Rogers acquires a single share of Shaw.”

The hearing begins on November 7th and will last four weeks, with a one-week extension if need be.

Via: The Globe and Mail 

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