The 20 conditions for the buyout of Shaw by Rogers

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Summary

(Translation of an original PlanHub article)

Rogers and Videotron will have to meet these 20 conditions for the buyout of Shaw and Freedom Mobile.

Image Credit: PlanHub

After a suspense of several months, the takeover of Shaw by Rogers has finally been authorized by Minister François-Philippe Champagne. Several times denounced by numerous independent providers and having been the subject of a bitter battle including from the Competition Bureau, by becoming the property of Rogers, Shaw had in the operation to give up Freedom Mobile to Videotron. In addition to the obligation to divest Freedom Mobile Rogers and Videotron are imposed 20 conditions that they will have to respect:

  • Rogers will have to sell Shaw’s wireless division, Freedom Mobile, to Quebecor for $2.85 billion.
  • Rogers will have to maintain the current prices of Shaw’s wireless and Internet services for a period of three years.
  • Rogers will have to invest $6.5 billion in the deployment of the 5G network over the next five years.
  • Rogers will be required to invest $3 billion in rural and remote broadband network expansion over the next five years.
  • Rogers will need to invest $1 billion in Canadian content development over the next seven years.
  • Rogers will be required to maintain current Shaw jobs for at least three years and create 3,000 new digital technology jobs.
  • Rogers will maintain Shaw’s regional headquarters in Alberta and British Columbia.
  • Rogers will be required to maintain Shaw’s existing brands and services, including Shaw Direct, Shaw Business and Shaw BlueCurve.
  • Rogers will be required to offer Shaw customers access to its national network at no additional charge.
  • Rogers will be required to provide Shaw customers with access to its entertainment services, such as Sportsnet and Crave.
  • Quebecor will have to maintain Freedom Mobile’s spectrum licenses for at least 10 years.
  • Quebecor will have to deploy 5G on Freedom Mobile’s network within two years.
  • Quebecor will be required to expand its wireless network in Manitoba within three years.
  • Quebecor will be required to temporarily offer 10% more data to Freedom Mobile customers.
  • Québecor shall comply with Freedom Mobile’s national roaming and critical infrastructure access commitments.
  • Québecor will be required to comply with regulatory obligations applicable to wireless service providers, including consumer protection and public safety.
  • Québecor will be required to maintain current Freedom Mobile jobs for at least three years and create 1,000 new jobs in the digital technology sector.
  • Quebecor will maintain Freedom Mobile’s regional headquarters in Ontario.
  • Québecor will maintain Freedom Mobile’s current brand and services, including Freedom Home Internet and Freedom TV.
  • Québecor will be required to provide Freedom Mobile customers with access to its Québec content, such as TVA and Club illico.

While some of these measures appear to be burdensome, others are within the scope of what Rogers and Videotron would have done. For example, Rogers is already investing in Canadian content, so spending $1 billion over the next seven years is not really a challenge. The same thing for the access to Sportsnet and Crave, the goal of Rogers is to offer more channels and services, so these channels would have been included in the end. For its part, Videotron will have to deploy the 5G on the network of Freedom Mobile, but Videotron by this purchase already intended to expand in the West, and would have had to expand its network or switch the network of Freedom Mobile on the 5G, a technology that he masters.

Other measures are really restrictive, such as the prohibition for Rogers to raise Shaw’s prices for 3 years. The obligation to create several thousand jobs is also a binding measure for both companies

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