Thank you, thank you, to the federal Competition Bureau. It has acted where the Canadian Radio-Television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has not. The CRTC let Canadians down. It, quite frankly, lacks the balls to do its job. It had the chance to denounce the acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc. by Rogers Communications. It did not.
The current CRTC acts as though it works for the big three communications triumvirate of Canada; Bell, Telus and Rogers. The commission has failed to show anything but favouritism for those three companies. It is appointed to serve Canadians. It has obviously forgotten why it is there.
But the federal Competition Bureau has acted. The bureau has locked itself into a court fight in that Rogers will fight to the last shareholder’s nickel to make the company the dominant supplier of broadcasting, telephone and Internet sales in Canada.
What the court will hear is the problems Rogers has faced in finding a buyer for Freedom Mobile—an off-shoot of Shaw Communications that has previously been doing some innovative and cost saving promotions for the Canadian market. After all, who would want to buy an independent cell phone service, with narrower margins, that could be crushed at any time by the big three companies that rule the Canadian market?
What would give any regulator pause in approving this deal is that both Rogers and Shaw have lost their entrepreneurial management in the persons of the late Ted Rogers and JR Shaw. It was a serious time for both the families involved. The Rogers shares are now controlled and directed by Edward Rogers. The Shaw family decided to divest themselves of Shaw Communications while continuing to keep control of Corus Entertainment.
While all I can tell you about the nepotism of both families is that political smarts and entrepreneurial skills do not necessarily pass along with DNA. We saw how badly managed the Rogers empire is when there was a recent bit of a management skirmish at Rogers. At least the Shaw family seem to keep that kind of thing in-house.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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