The trial between the Competition Bureau and Rogers and Shaw is roughly two months away. However, both parties appear to be having difficulty gathering information to help their case and are appealing to the Competition Tribunal to intervene.
The Commissioner of Competition wants Rogers to answer questions it says were “improperly refused” during an examination of a company representative.
Dean Prevost, president of integration at Rogers, was answering questions on August 25th and 26th on behalf of Rogers. The Commissioner’s application states Rogers took some questions under advisement and refused others. On September 6th, Rogers delivered a document that provided reasoning for its actions to those questions.
The Commissioner will present the motion to the tribunal on September 13th, asking Rogers to provide answers to its 23 questions within a week of approval. The questions have been redacted from the document shared with the public.
The application states the questions “are not unreasonable, unnecessary, or unduly onerous, and the information and documents sought are not privileged.”
Motion for Shaw
The Commissioner will also file a similar motion for Shaw.
The Commissioner’s legal team examined Paul McAleese, Shaw’s president, on August 22nd and 23rd. Shaw provided a document on September 2nd, answering certain undertakings. The Commissioner’s motion states that parts of the document are illegible, and Shaw withheld the answer to one question.
The two questions the Commissioner has for Shaw relates to the company providing ‘legible’ copies of the company’s board of directors for the past three years and an analysis of synergies of the merger.
Questions from Rogers and Shaw
Rogers and Shaw filed a similar motion relating to the examination of Kristen McLean on August 24th and 25th, an analyst for the Competition Bureau.
Rogers says the Commissioner provided answers about undertakings and McLean’s refusal to answer specific questions on September 6th. However, the answers “were refused and/or have been deficiently answered,” Rogers says.
It’s not clear what those questions are as the application redacts identifying information.
However, the information available points to the questions likely related to the sale of Freedom and its impact on competition. The Commissioner has stated the deal of Freedom to Vidéotron won’t appease competition concerns.
“Respectfully, the Commissioner’s refusals do not serve this process or the tribunal,” Rogers states in its motion. Furthermore, it says the refusal to answer questions and produce certain documents is detrimental to their understanding and defence of the case.
“This is not an extravagant request or a fishing expedition. Its probative value cannot be disputed,” Rogers argues.
“Its contents are critical to a fair and just determination. Rogers, Shaw, and Vidéotron should not be forced to trial without it.”
The recent filing follows questions Rogers posed on September 6th regarding the most recent response on the sale of Freedom Mobile to Vidéotron.
Source: Competition Tribunal