There's JUST DAYS LEFT! Our MPs have called Rogers-Shaw a bad deal ✅, the Competition Bureau has called it a bad deal ✅, but Industry Minister Champagne is STILL ready to approve ❌. He's the one person who needs to say NO, and YOU can bring him on side.
Public opposition to this anti-consumer deal is OVERWHELMING. Canadians have sent over 77,000 signatures, comments and survey responses against it from the OpenMedia community and beyond (shout out to our friends at ACORN, Leadnow, and the Maple!), calling on them to block Rogers-Shaw outright. We've witnessed the power of YOU in action — and it’s awesome.2,3
But Rogers has fought back with a sneaky deal to spin Freedom Mobile off and cut a sweetheart deal with Quebec-based ISP Videotron. The TL:DR of what comes next? Videotron gets to try to compete like Shaw did with MUCH less money and resources, and Rogers STILL becomes the single largest Internet giant in Canadian connectivity history. Freedom or no Freedom, the Rogers-Shaw buyout is bad for people in Canada and should be blocked outright.4-6 Here’s a few quick reasons why:
- Loss of home Internet competition: Even if the cell phone portion of the deal is removed, allowing Rogers to buy out Shaw will still give Rogers unprecedented control over vast amounts of Canada’s Internet — a recipe for serious harm to home Internet competition, choice, and affordability in Canada.
- Loss of innovation: Historically, Shaw has been a first mover and innovator in Canada, building their brand on being one of the first to offer free routers, free wifi hotspots in public, wifi pods at home, and through Freedom, and unlimited mobile data. Losing the pressure of Shaw means Rogers, and other giants, have less incentive to provide innovative services to customers.
- The future of Freedom Mobile: Spinning off Freedom to sell it to another telecom giant like Videotron is just a worse outcome than the status quo we have. There's considerable cause to worry they won't compete as effectively as Shaw, with no history in Western Canada and a limited financial base. And even if they succeed, we're still down yet another important competitor, in an overly centralized telecom market, with people in Canada paying some of the highest prices in the world for cell phone services.7
This is our last golden opportunity to stop the Rogers-Shaw deal for good. Bolstered by overwhelming public opposition to the deal, the Competition Bureau fought hard against it — but when it came to the Tribunal process, our weak competition laws let them down.8 Now we have one last chance — to get so many MPs worried about what YOU think of their decision, they force Minister Champagne to hear us. If the Minister takes a key stance against this deal, Rogers-Shaw is dead in the water. But he will be deciding VERY shortly, likely by January 24th!
We need to remind the Minister and the PM that all eyes are on them; any version of the Rogers-Shaw deal, Freedom Mobile or not, is bad for Canadians and must be stopped. If you haven’t already, take action to stop Rogers-Shaw by emailing your MP!