In Canada, Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. today announced that the companies' long-awaited merger is expected to close prior to the outside date of April 7, 2023 after receiving final regulatory approval.
In a press release, Rogers reaffirmed the company’s merger commitments, including the following:
- Investing $1 billion to improve connectivity for rural, remote, and Indigenous communities and unserved remote highways in Western Canada.
- Investing $2.5 billion to expand and upgrade Rogers 5G network for consumers and businesses in Western Canada.
- Investing $3 billion in technology and network services in Western Canada, including modernizing and expanding fibre-powered internet.
- Creating 3,000 new jobs in Weste.rn Canada to support the multi-billion-dollar investment in networks, services, and technology.
- Maintaining a Western Canada headquarters in Calgary.
- Expanding the low-cost Connected for Success Internet pro.gram to eligible Canadians across Western Canada.
- Introducing a new low-cost Connected for Success wireless program nation-wide for eligible Canadians.
- Honoring a five-year price commitment for Shaw Mobile customers.
Tony Staffieri, president and CEO, Rogers, commented:
“We are very pleased to move forward with this transformative merger and proudly deliver on our commitments to enhance and expand network coverage, connect underserved communities, and improve access for low-income Canadians. Building on a shared legacy with Shaw, we will invest substantially to bring more choice, more value, and more connectivity to Canadians across the country. As a proud Canadian company, we’re deeply committed to delivering on our promises and we can’t wait to get started."
As reckoned in a statement, the merger commitments build on the companies’ 50-plus years of investing in Canada and Canadians. Over the past 10 years alone, Rogers and Shaw say they have invested over $40 billion building the networks of the soon-to-be combined company. "The Rogers-Shaw merger builds on the deep investment legacies of JR Shaw and Ted Rogers, two of Canada’s greatest entrepreneurs," added the press release.
Brad Shaw, executive chair and CEO, Shaw, said:
“Today begins an exciting new chapter for the future of connectivity in Canada. In today’s telecommunications industry, we recognize that companies need even greater scale to compete and make ongoing investments for future technology. This merger will provide the scale necessary for the future success and competitiveness of the wireline business that Shaw has built over the past five decades.”
As mentioned above, Rogers, Shaw, the Shaw Family Living Trust, and Quebecor Inc. agreed to extend the outside date of the closing of the merger of Rogers and Shaw and the acquisition of Freedom Mobile by Videotron Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Quebecor, to April 7, 2023.
According to a press release, today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, the country's Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, also provided final approval to transfer Shaw’s spectrum licenses to Videotron.
As part of this process, Rogers provided the Minister with legally enforceable undertakings to implement the commitments described above, including annual reporting and financial penalties for non-compliance.
Prior to the close of the Rogers-Shaw merger, Shaw will sell Freedom Mobile to Videotron.
The decision of the Canadian Competition Tribunal on December 31, 2022, which was upheld by the Federal Court of Appeal on January 24, 2023, allowed the Rogers-Shaw Merger and Freedom Transaction to proceed.
The Rogers-Shaw Merger had already been approved by the shareholders of Shaw and the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta, and the transfer of Shaw’s broadcasting licences to Rogers had been approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Having received all required regulatory approvals, the Rogers-Shaw Merger and Freedom Transaction remain subject only to customary closing conditions.