Telecom news roundup: Competition Bureau ends fight to block Rogers-Shaw merger [Jan 21-27]

The Federal Court of Appeal rejected the bureau's appeal earlier this week

Rogers and Shaw logos on an iPhone

The Competition Bureau will no longer appeal against the Rogers-Shaw merger and Vidéotron’s takeover of Freedom Mobile.

The federal department was seeking to overturn a ruling made by the Competition Tribunal supporting the merger. However, the Federal Court of Appeal was quick to rule against the appeal, ending a months-long push to block the mergers.

More information, and a recap of other telecom news in Canada, are available below.


Globalive is seeking a return to the wireless market by purchasing spectrum from Xplore Mobile. The telecom provider shut down in August. It’s unclear how much Globalive has offered for the spectrum and if Xplore Mobile and ISED will approve.

Vicky Eatrides is the CRTC’s new chair, and she has several priorities to tackle in her new role. This includes providers sharing more information on MVNOs and lowering wholesale internet pricing.

Remember BlackBerry? The device might be dead, but the company’s story lives on thanks to Matt Johnson’s movie named “BlackBerry.” The film follows the work of Research in Motion (RIM), the company behind the smartphone. It will make its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February.

The Competition Bureau has ended its bid to block Rogers’ takeover of Shaw after the Federal Court of Appeal rejected its bid to overturn the Competition Tribunal’s decision. The anticipated hearing was short, with Justice David Stratas questioning the bureau’s arguments. Rogers, Shaw, and Québecor didn’t present their arguments. The decision left several telecom advocates disappointed.

In order for the merger to proceed, it needs Minister François-Philippe Champagne’s approval. According to a recent interview with the Toronto Star, he’s in no hurry.

The House of Common’s industry and technology committee also discussed Rogers’ takeover of Shaw and Vidéotron’s acquisition of Freedom Mobile. Many of the questions revolved around how Rogers selected Vidéotron to take over Shaw’s wireless spectrum licenses.

Bell Aliant charged a Nova Scotia senior long-distance pricing for local calls and didn’t admit its mistake and make a change until the CBC reported on the issue.

Telus has created a new consumer solutions business focusing on personalized tech solutions.

The telecom giant has also expanded its 5G partnership with the University of Windsor.

Innovation Canada held its first residual spectrum auctions since 2018, selling 600 MHz, 2500 MHz, and 3500 MHz spectrum licenses. Several companies secured licenses, including Bell, Rogers and TBayTel.

SaskTel has started rolling out its 5G network in the Battlefords, providing residents and businesses with speeds up to 1.2Gbps.

Bell held its first Let’s Talk Day after replacing its traditional donation method. The company previously made a five-cent donation per interaction but opted for a capped $10 million donation this year.

Eastlink is close to completing its fibre upgrade in Mindemoya, Ont.

Plan updates

The latter part of this weekly update is typically reserved for wireless deals. However, wireless providers didn’t release any deals this week, raising prices instead.

Fido has increased its monthly plans by $5 a month, but customers can cancel the cost if they sign up for Automatic Payments.

Bell and Virgin Plus will increase roaming rates by $1/day on March 9th. The increase applies to both U.S. and international roaming plans.