Canadian telecom giants Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications have been awarded $9.58 million in a long-running battle with Canada’s Competition Bureau.
The Competition Tribunal, Canada’s merger court, had ruled earlier this month that the Commissioner of Competition Matthew Boswell’s approach to block the deal was ‘unreasonable’. The tribunal released a ruling dated Aug. 28 that the Commissioner of Competition had taken an unnecessarily contentious approach to block the deal and that this had significantly increased the costs the firms had to incur.
The companies previously launched a C$20-billion merger back in March, which was met with intense opposition from the antitrust regulator. The bureau’s biggest worry was that the deal would lessen competition in the country, especially as wireless bills are already among the highest in the world. Nevertheless, the Competition Tribunal and a Canadian court agreed with Rogers and Shaw Communications, and approved the merger with certain conditions.
The court has now concluded that the Commissioner was unreasonable in their approach to the deal, and has the Competition Bureau pay the companies a fee of C$13 million ($9.58 million). With this hefty fee, both Rogers and Shaw Communications will be further incentivized to create more jobs and invest in expanding their network.
The tribunal said: “The Companies maintained that Boswell ‘adopted an unnecessarily contentious approach throughout the litigation, which significantly increased the costs that they were required to incur.'” This outcome has certainly left the Competition Tribunal’s ruling in clear view – that the Competition Commissioner should have taken a less aggressive stance when attempting to block the telecom deal.