Mixed reactions to the Rogers-Shaw agreement in Alberta | Globalnews.ca

Reaction to the $26 billion Rogers-Shaw merger in Alberta was mixed the day it was announced.

Bob Schulz, a professor at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, called the merger a “win-win.”

“It’s a blockbuster deal for Canada, but it could be the rising star (rural telecommunications) for the world in the developing countries that we’re now testing here,” Schulz said Friday.

He noted that Canada’s dispersed population pockets present a unique operating environment for telecommunications companies and face competition from emerging companies like Elon Musk’s Starlink.

Learn more:

Rogers-Shaw deal approved – with ‘unprecedented’ terms. Here’s what you need to know

Shaw Executive Chairman and CEO Brad Shaw said the deal was an “exciting new chapter” for connectivity in the country.

The story continues under the ad

“In today’s telecommunications industry, we recognize that businesses need even greater scale to compete and make ongoing investments in future technology,” Shaw said in a statement. “This merger will provide the scale necessary for the future success and competitiveness of the wireline business that Shaw has built over the past five decades.”

Schulz was quick to point out that while the merger would reduce two telecom operators into one, the stipulation that Shaw’s Freedom Mobile be sold to Quebecor-owned Videotron will help competition in the mobile phone market.

Rogers must meet list of conditions in Shaw merger or face steep financial penalties

“Consumers may think it’s a bad idea to combine the two, but if Videotron comes in because they have lower prices, it could force the Rogers-Shaw combination down.”

The U of C professor said the terms of the merger are likely to put additional pressure on existing telecom operators.

The story continues under the ad

“If Videotron decides to expand, then Bell will have to do something a little different in order to compete or decide that it’s going to compete less west and more east,” Schulz said. “And it will also be interesting to see what happens with Telus, because now Telus will have a stronger competitor to compete with in the West.”

Alberta promises to meet terms of merger

Technology and Innovation Minister Nate Glubish says the Alberta government will be ‘steadfast’ in holding the merged companies ‘accountable for the terms of this agreement and the commitments they made to jobs , consumers and communities in Alberta”.

“We will be closely monitoring Rogers’ obligation to create approximately 3,000 jobs in Western Canada and invest an additional $1 billion to connect rural, remote and Indigenous communities to high-speed internet,” Glubish said, noting that the investment aligns with the province’s broadband strategy. .

He welcomed the arrival of Videotron’s low-cost mobile offer, which must include rates 20% lower than current offers and invest $150 million in their network.

Learn more:

Rogers must meet list of conditions in Shaw merger or face steep financial penalties

“While the telecommunications industry falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government, we will hold Rogers and Shaw to honor their commitments set out in this agreement and protect the interests of Albertans in the future. »

The story continues under the ad

The Opposition’s municipal affairs critic called the merger “the loss of an iconic Alberta company.”

“(Shaw has) deep roots in the province that go back nearly 60 years, employing hundreds of people at their headquarters in Calgary and thousands across Western Canada,” said Calgary-Buffalo MPP Joe This, in a press release.

What Rogers will buy from Shaw will mean for Canadian consumers

Ceci said a deal of this size would change the telecommunications landscape in the country and could jeopardize jobs, increase customer costs and reduce access to services.

One of 21 stipulations made by the federal government was that Rogers establish a western headquarters in Calgary.

“I am encouraged to see these terms included in the agreement and we will be monitoring closely to ensure they are implemented,” Ceci said in a statement. “However, it is concerning that Danielle Smith’s government has failed to stand up for Alberta. They asked for intervenor status in the deal, but took no position.

The story continues under the ad

Albertans balk at ‘less choice’

Calgary student Ashmal Dawoodani says the government encourages competition and called the Rogers-Shaw deal “only good for big business.”

“Just selling the mobile assets to another company is kind of a short-term solution. It’s not really too long-term,” Dawoodani said. “I think we have some of the highest phone bills in the world and I don’t think that will change with such a small gesture like that.”

Nicole Flemming said the merger could limit options for clients like her.

“I like having more choice with my cell phone providers and my internet providers, so I don’t really like this (merger) idea,” Fleming told Global News. “It gives me less choice as a consumer – I like to shop.”

The story continues under the ad

Shaw Communications and Corus Entertainment, the parent company of Global News, are owned by the Calgary-based Shaw family.

#Mixed #reactions #RogersShaw #agreement #Alberta #Globalnewsca