We further examine the Rogers-Shaw merger of telecommunications giants in Canada. In part 2, we have very special guest Konrad von Finckenstein, former Commissioner of Competition, former Chair of the CRTC, former advisor on mergers to the Industry Minister, former Federal Court justice and now PIAC Chair of the Board, to explain the potential conditions that could be placed on this deal, whether it can be blocked, and why Rogers and Shaw and such companies may need some leeway to merge (well!).
John Lawford, PIAC's Executive Director and General Counsel welcomes special guest Konrad von Finckenstein, PIAC's current Chair of the Board, to work through options the Competition Bureau, the CRTC and the Industry Minister could have to modify the deal to preserve at least some competition. In a spirited conversation, Mr. Lawford attempts to outline consumer frustration with the process and the deal, while Mr. von Finckenstein calmly discusses the cold, hard calculations in the regulatory, merger and political fields and how they could play out in a frankly challenging merger with no easy way to ensure the same level of competition before and after. He should know: he has been Commissioner of Competition, Chair of the CRTC, advisor on mergers to the Industry Minister, Federal Court of Appeal justice and much more. But that doesn't stop Mr. Lawford from trying. Both agreed, however, that the CRTC's upcoming MVNO decision, expected the very next day, would change the context and maybe the entire conversation.
We hope that this lively exchange of views will help consumers understand the complexities of mergers in Canada and that their voice is needed.