A woman holds two cellphones in this photo illustration, Monday March 29, 2021 in Chelsea, Que. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology is hearing from Rogers and Shaw Communications executives on a merger. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

A woman holds two cellphones in this photo illustration, Monday March 29, 2021 in Chelsea, Que. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology is hearing from Rogers and Shaw Communications executives on a merger. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Shaw, Rogers chief executives testify that $26 billion deal will grow competition

Brad Shaw, Joe Natale argued the plan for Rogers to buy Shaw Communications, Freedom Mobile will help Canadians

Chief executives of Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. told MPs today that they believe every Canadian will benefit from a combination of their two businesses, which need to be bigger to be more competitive.

Both Brad Shaw and Joe Natale argued the $26-billion plan for Rogers to buy Shaw Communications and Freedom Mobile will help Canadians by allowing the companies to concentrate on building a new generation of networks.

Critics of the proposed Rogers takeover of Shaw’s cable, internet and wireless businesses argue that Canada needs more competitors in the industry, not fewer.

But Brad Shaw testified that the Calgary-based company founded by his father isn’t big enough on its own to make the billions of dollars in future investments that will be necessary for it to build a competitive 5G wireless network.

Joe Natale also said that Toronto-based Rogers — which has Canada’s largest national wireless service and one of the country’s largest cable and internet business — needs to get bigger to become more competitive by growing and updating its networks.

The proposed deal has faced stiff opposition from consumer groups, academics, customers and others since Rogers and Shaw jointly announced their agreement two weeks ago.

Critics fear that prices will go up and service quality will go down if Rogers eliminates one of its competitors — especially Shaw’s Freedom Mobile business.

Executives for Rogers and Shaw appeared in a virtual hearing of the Industry, Science and Technology committee in Ottawa. The committee will also hear from government officials, executives from other companies and consumer advocates.

In announcing the deal on March 15, Natale that he was confident of getting regulatory and government approval by early 2022.

But Natale also said the most complex part of the approvals would involve Freedom Mobile, which is a direct competitor to Rogers and its other brands in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

David Paddon, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Vehicles line up for the Greater Vancouver Drive-Thru Food Truck Festival at the Chilliwack Coliseum parking lot on March 27. The touring event comes to Cloverdale this weekend, April 24-25 (Photo: Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress)
Here are the food trucks coming to Cloverdale for a drive-thru festival this weekend

Nine trucks will be parked Saturday, nine Sunday during event at fairgrounds

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Parts of Surrey, North Delta to get AstraZeneca vaccines for people ages 40+

A total of seven communities in Surrey and Delta will be targeted

The Braidwood Band performs for the seniors at Zion Park Manor in Surrey, as part of a music program planned by Rick’s Heart Foundation. (submitted photo)
VIDEO: Surrey charity brings distanced concerts to care homes, with prop pink firetruck

Familiar tunes performed for seniors during pandemic-era ‘Heart for Music’ program

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused, Horgan says

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

The Abbotsford Centre has the ability to host AHL level games if the Vancouver Canucks or any other NHL team chose to move its affiliate to the arena. (File photo)
Abbotsford Centre ready for AHL if right opportunity presents itself

Building recently upgraded glass and boards, schedule would allow for AHL tenant

A defeat Sunday in Kamloops tied up the Giants and Blazers for the most wins this season. Each team has notched seven victories in the B.C. division play unfolding this season on ice in Kamloops and Kelowna. (Allen Douglas/Special to Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Giants record fifth shutout of the season

Vancouver G-Men take down Kamloops Blazers on home ice Sunday, 4-0

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Most Read