Competition Bureau set to try to overturn Rogers-Shaw decision at Fed Appeal Court

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OTTAWA — The fate of Rogers Communications Inc.'s proposed takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. goes before the Federal Court of Appeal today as the Competition Bureau seeks to overturn the Competition Tribunal's decision approving the deal.

In its appeal filings the Competition Bureau alleges the Tribunal made four legal errors, centred largely around how the proposed sale of Shaw's Freedom Mobile to Videotron was factored into the decision.

The bureau argues that the Tribunal erred in how it assessed the proposed sale of Freedom Mobile, a deal it says would make Videotron dependent on Rogers for support, and also erred in relying on unenforceable commitments around the deal.

In its response, Rogers says that the bureau has relied on indirect attacks on the Tribunal's assessment of the evidence that it is presenting as core questions of law.

Rogers says the claims of profound legal error and calamitous policy implications are "unhelpful rhetoric," and that the tribunal's decision is "quintessentially fact-based and manifestly serves the public interest."

The hearing at the Federal Court of Appeal in Ottawa is set to run a single day, with a decision date on the appeal not yet set as the extended Jan. 31 closing date of the deal approaches.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 24, 2023.

Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI.B; SJR.B)

The Canadian Press