Rogers and Shaw Deal Inches closer with CTRC tentative approval




The Merger between Rogers and Shaw got the green light from the Canadian Radio and Television Commission.


Rogers' acquisition of Shaw's broadcasting services got the boards endorsements, but is subject to a number of conditions and modifications.


As part of this deal Rogers will acquire 16 cable services based in Western Canada, a national satellite television service and other broadcast and television services. The approval from the CRTC is only based on the broadcasting elements of the merger.


Ian Scott the Chairperson and CEO of the CRTC said that the approval from the board outlines that Rogers must honour all existing contracts of Shaw Customers, "This adds to the safeguards already in place, which allow Canadians to subscribe to a basic television package and to select channels either individually or in small packages."


Federal Minister of Innovation and Science Francois-Philppe Champagne said after the announcement from the CRTC, "Today's conditional approval by the CRTC on the broadcast portion of the Rogers-Shaw proposal doesn't change my position.


"I will reject any deal that doesn't ensure affordability for Canadians and a competitive wireless market," He added.


Under the CRTC rules for the merge, Rogers must report annually on its commitments to increase its support for local news, including by employing a higher number of journalists at its Citytv stations across the country and by producing an additional 48 news specials each year that reflect local communities.


"Given the nature of this transaction, we have put in place safeguards aimed at addressing potential risks to the broadcasting system for both consumers and programming services," Scott added in a press release.


The home telephone, wireless and Internet services that Rogers is also seeking to acquire from Shaw are not subject to the CRTC's prior approval.