Competition Bureau’s appeal of Rogers-Shaw decision faces high bar

The merger now solely requires approval from Innovation, Science and Financial Growth Canada

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The Federal Courtroom of Enchantment has decisively rejected the Competitors Bureau’s bid to overturn a tribunal choice approving the merger between Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc.

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“We defer to the tribunal, the truth is, fairly considerably,” Justice David Stratas informed the courtroom, in dismissing the attraction throughout a one-day listening to in Ottawa Jan. 24. Stratas mentioned the courtroom rendered the tribunal’s choice as if it had been made in a federal courtroom.

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“Will probably be pointless to ship this case again to the Competitors Tribunal for re-decision,” he mentioned.

The merger now solely requires approval from Innovation, Science and Financial Growth Canada (ISED), led by Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne. A Home of Commons committee, which plans to make suggestions to the minister, is ready to carry conferences on Jan. 25 to overview the up to date deal, which incorporates the proposed treatment to promote Freedom Cell to Vidéotron.

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Earlier Tuesday, the judges had requested questions in regards to the Competitors Bureau’s authorized arguments, reminding the events that the courtroom can solely intrude if the tribunal dedicated “palpable and overriding errors” in its choice, which one decide mentioned is “a really excessive take a look at.”

“In line with the tribunal, this was not a very shut case,” Stratas mentioned. “It discovered, I might say on the proof, moderately decisively that there was no substantial lessening of competitors and in saying that, I wish to hear your factors about authorized error,” Stratas informed the Bureau’s attorneys earlier within the day.

The attraction got here after the Competitors Bureau had didn’t resolve its objection to the cope with the businesses in mid-2022 after which had its try to dam the deal dismissed by the Competitors Tribunal on Dec. 29.

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In that call, the three-member tribunal rejected the Bureau’s arguments that combining the 2 telecom giants would considerably reduce wi-fi competitors, notably in gentle of a facet deal to promote Shaw’s Freedom Cell to Vidéotron.

The Commissioner of Competitors then appealed the tribunal choice and utilized for an injunction, which the Federal Courtroom of Enchantment granted earlier this month, blocking the deal from closing till the attraction was heard.

In its attraction software, the Competitors Bureau had alleged the tribunal “made 4 authorized errors,” and {that a} completely different end result would have been reached if these “authorized errors” had not been made.

The merger now solely require approval from Innovation, Science and Financial Growth Canada (ISED), led by Trade Minister François-Philippe Champagne. A Home of Commons committee, which plans to make suggestions to the minister, can also be set to carry conferences on Jan. 25 to overview the up to date deal, which incorporates the proposed treatment to promote Freedom Cell to Vidéotron.

• E-mail: dpaglinawan@postmedia.com | Twitter: denisepglnwn

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