Open letter calls on Minister Champagne to block Rogers-Shaw buyout under any circumstances
OpenMedia urges Innovation Minister to stand by the Competition Bureau’s challenge of the deal
MAY 12, 2022 — Today, OpenMedia released an open letter to Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED) Minister François-Phillippe Champagne, calling on him to block the Rogers-Shaw buyout under any circumstances. The letter warns against approving a deal in which Freedom Mobile, the Shaw-owned wireless carrier, is sold to a third party, a move industry observers consider a likely concession by Rogers.
“No version of Rogers-Shaw is in the best interests of people in Canada,” said Erin Knight, Digital Rights Campaigner at OpenMedia. “The Minister needs to side with the Competition Bureau, whose recent application convincingly argues that allowing a hamstrung independent Freedom Mobile is not enough to stop this buyout from hurting competition. Any version of the Rogers-Shaw deal, Freedom Mobile or not, will make telecom prices worse. It must be stopped.”
“The Minister has said again and again that our government ‘is making every effort’ to ensure affordable connectivity. So prove it,” continued Knight. “People in Canada know that he can step in and kill this deal on the spot. Our MPs have condemned the deal. Our competition regulator has condemned the deal. Champagne needs to listen to them and speak out for the ordinary folks who have asked the government over 83,000 times to block this buyout in full.”
The letter comes in response to the Competition Bureau’s Monday announcement that it is seeking to oppose the $26Bn buyout of Shaw Communications by Rogers Communications, pending since March 2021.
A current OpenMedia campaign is asking Canadians to email their MPs, urging them to call on Minister Champagne to block Rogers-Shaw under any circumstances. Over 4,000 members of the OpenMedia community have emailed their MPs since Tuesday.