Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Tuesday July 12, 2022
Rogers outage won’t ‘sink’ $26-billion deal to buy Shaw, competition expert says
As the fallout from the Rogers Communications Inc. service outage continues to play out, one competition expert says she doesn’t think it will “sink” the telecom giant’s proposed $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications Inc., but believes it will make everyone pay closer attention to the deal.
In an interview on Monday, University of Ottawa professor Jennifer Quaid said the only way the outage would have a negative impact on the deal would be if there was any evidence showing Rogers displayed a lack of thoroughness in reporting the circumstances due to limited competition in the market.
Quaid also said that there is now a bigger opportunity for regulators to take a closer look at cost savings from the proposed deal and whether those savings would come from eliminating redundancy systems and reducing technical staff.
Telecom researcher Ben Klass said the outage shows that further consolidation and concentration of power in the market is “a bad idea” for Canada.
“We are used to hearing that ‘bigger is better’ when it comes to telecommunication and technology companies, but last weekend’s outage shows that there are also significant risks associated with putting too many eggs in one basket,” he said. “There is strength and value in diversity and decentralization.”
Edward Jones analyst David Heger said the network outage is an additional risk factor for the Rogers-Shaw transaction, but doesn’t believe it will actually hurt it.
“Regulators may point to the outage as another reason why the merger concentrates too much customer traffic with one operator,” he said. “However, I still believe that the proposed sale of Shaw’s Freedom Mobile wireless operations to Quebecor (Inc.) should address this concern.”
The deadline for Rogers, Shaw and Quebecor to reach a definitive agreement on the sale of Freedom is July 15. (Yahoo Finance)