It seems like a good time to review the request of Rogers Communications to be allowed to buy Shaw Communications. It is not as though we really get a vote on this. Our ‘betters’ in Ottawa are going to decide for us. Isn’t it always the way in Canada?
What the question of the day boils down to is whether you would prefer to be screwed by three companies or by four? For some time now we have had Shaw and Telus based in the west and Bell and Rogers based in the east. Along with Quebecor’s Videotron in Quebec, there are a bunch of what I think of as sucker fish. These are companies that buy the base service from one of the big three and resell it to consumers. In analysis, I seem to find that most of these sucker fish get your business by making an attractive offer but eventually get their rates about as high as their supplier.
The Grandpère of all these base operators is Bell Canada. The company that Canadians love to hate, Bell’s business is based on millions of kilometres of installed copper wire that is gradually being converted to fibre optic cable. Bell was the original contractor to build the Canadian Internet connections across Canada and to the world-wide web.
Rogers Communications was an early player in the game and became noticed in the 1960s. From roots in radio, Ted Rogers gradually moved his company through cable television to cell telephones to publishing and to television production, leaning heavily on sports and ownership of sports teams and facilities. When he died in 2008, Ted was the fourth richest man in Canada with a net worth of about $7 billion.
And his son took over the whole shebang.
Coincidently, a gentleman named James Robert Shaw built a somewhat similar cable, broadcasting and telecommunications empire, based in Calgary, Alberta. When JR died in 2020, the broadcasting part of that empire, was spun off as Corus Entertainment and the telecommunications end of things was put up for sale.
Enter the Rogers scion with an offer of $26 billion for the Shaw assets. That should create the largest telecommunications company in Canada.
Ottawa has yet to rule on this proposal. If the government approves of it, it will just prove that the Trudeau government is not on our side.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to: