Canadians Flood Competition Bureau to Denounce Rogers Shaw Merger

Outlets aren’t saying where Canadians sit on this, but indications suggest that Canadians are opposing the Shaw Rogers merger at the Competition Bureau.

Earlier, we reported on how Rogers is wanting to buy Shaw for $26 billion. The mega-merger would mean that competition would get further reduced, leaving Canada with effectively 3 national carriers. The outcome of this is going to be obvious: higher rates for consumers and lower quality of service. Experts echoed these sentiments and pointed out that these are the obvious outcomes. Still, some think that the deal is going to go ahead thanks to regulators not really having a reputation of trying to keep these monopolies under control.

Now, word is emerging that the Competition Bureau is receiving an “unprecedented” high amount of volume of response from Canadians. From The Toronto Star:

The Competition Bureau Canada says it has already received an unprecedented amount of online interestrelated to Rogers Communications Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc.

The Competition Bureau says it is getting a higher than normal volume of inquiriesonline, which is the main gateway for feedback since the bureau’s phone services have been shut down since March 2020.

After the deal was announced Monday, the bureau says there was a surge of feedback forms related to the proposed $26 billion telecom tie-up, which would combine Canada’s two largest cable operations and rivals in the wireless sector.

The regulator says it is not able to respond to each form individually because of the high volume, but that the feedback will be reviewed thoroughly and new submissions are still encouraged.

The article doesn’t really say what the feedback is specifically, only that the volume is high. However, after doing a little digging, we found that there is an online campaign being conducted by OpenMedia. The petition is calling for the merger to be blocked. From OpenMedia:

In Canada, we already pay some of the highest prices in the world for Internet and wireless — we need prices to go down, not up. But if we don’t stop this disaster of a sale, fewer providers in the market will lead to these services getting even MORE expensive!

The government needs to block this terrible deal. If we speak out in numbers too big for the government to ignore, they’ll have no choice but to stop the buy. Sign the petition to the federal government and Competition Bureau: stop the Rogers-Shaw sale!

While consumers, advocates, organizations, businesses, and more are crying out for lower prices and more competition, this deal threatens to move Canada in the opposite direction.

It’s economics 101: When companies have to compete for the same customers, it creates incentive to undercut each other — leading to downward pressure on prices across the board. More competition = lower prices!

Right now, Canada has a competition problem when it comes to Internet and cell phone data. We have just four major telecommunication companies offering wireless services, sometimes known as the “Big Four”: Bell, Rogers, Telus, and Shaw. Everyone uses these companies’ networks, including Big Telecom’s “flanker” brands like Koodoo and Virgin Mobile.

The Rogers-Shaw deal will reduce the competition between those four companies by at least a whopping 25% — or much more, in local markets where there will now be only one major provider! That loss of competition will drive prices way up, and consumers will have significantly less choice about where they get their Internet and wireless services — especially in Western Canada.

The site has a form in which Canadians can sign a petition to stop the merger. Alternatively, the Competition Bureau has an online form so Canadians can separately speak their mind about this merger.

At any rate, there are signs that Canadians are speaking out against the merger. The idea of less competition, higher bills, worse quality of service, and less choice is not exactly a good deal for average every day consumers. It’s too early to say if this possibly overwhelming opposition will sway regulators, but we do know that Canadians are, in fact, speaking their mind on this important issue.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Facebook.



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