TORONTO — As Rogers Communications Inc. aims to close its $26-billion proposed takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. by the end of this year, one telecom watcher says the process could drag on into mid-2023.
Scotiabank analyst Maher Yaghi says pushback from the Competition Bureau and uncertainty around the proposed sale of Shaw-owned wireless carrier Freedom Mobile to Quebecor Inc., a move meant to appease federal regulators, could slow things down.
Canada’s competition watchdog has been trying to block the deal, arguing that it will lessen competition substantially and lead to higher phone bills.
Rogers and Shaw are expected to appear before the Competition Tribunal in November where they will try to overturn the Competition Bureau’s opposition to the transaction.
Yaghi says “the odds are increasing that it will take a full trial, and possibly a further appeal,” which could make the path to closing the transaction even longer.
Last month, Rogers extended the proposed deal’s closing date to Dec. 31, with the option to extend it to Jan. 31, 2023, after moving it several times.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 31, 2022.