Advocacy groups ask cabinet to rescind CRTC’s approval of Rogers-Shaw merger

The PIAC and NPF say the merger will lead to price increases for Shaw TV subscribers


Two consumer advocacy groups are asking the federal cabinet to set aside the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission’s (CRTC) approval of the broadcast aspect of the Rogers-Shaw merger.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the National Pensioners Federation (NPF) say Rogers plans on transitioning Shaw’s cable TV and satellite TV customers to IPTV, which means customers will have to pay more for television services.

The petition states doing so “exposes approximately one million Shaw customers to significant price increases for delivery of essentially the same service – paid TV service,” the petition states.

“Consumers shouldn’t pay for these mergers,” John Lawford, executive director of PIAC, said. “This petition is a result of our concern that the CRTC failed to impose enforceable conditions to protect consumer affordability of TV services.”

Their petition further states the CRTC’s decision doesn’t follow the objectives of the Broadcasting Act, specifically when it comes to offering programs at affordable prices.

Shaw’s broadcasting business includes Shaw Direct, delivered through satellite TV, and cable services across Manitoba, British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

The CRTC approved the broadcast aspect of the $26 billion merger last month. While the CRTC did impose several conditions, none of them seem to satisfy the concerns brought on by PIAC and NPF.

Source: PIAC