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Competition watchdog pushes back on concerns Shaw has about its business

By: The Canadian Press Posted: 10:41 AM CST Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022 OTTAWA - Counsel for the Competition Bureau is trying to build the case that Shaw Communications Inc. is not in as troubled a position as the company has made it seem. Read this article for free: To continue reading, please subscribe with this…


By: The Canadian Press
Posted:

OTTAWA – Counsel for the Competition Bureau is trying to build the case that Shaw Communications Inc. is not in as troubled a position as the company has made it seem.

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OTTAWA – Counsel for the Competition Bureau is trying to build the case that Shaw Communications Inc. is not in as troubled a position as the company has made it seem.

During cross-examination of Shaw’s chief financial officer Trevor English Tuesday, the competition watchdog pointed to Shaw’s fiscal 2020 financials, noting free cash flow of approximately $750 million and capital expenditures of approximately $1.1 billion.

However, English said while the company is not in financial distress, Shaw is concerned about future capital required to compete more effectively both on the wireline and wireless side of the business longer term.



Rogers and Shaw applications are pictured on a cellphone in Ottawa on Monday, May 9, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

On Monday evening, during the hearing on Rogers Communications Inc.’s $26-billion proposed takeover of Shaw, English told the Competition Tribunal that Shaw does not see a viable path forward as a standalone company.

English also said that Shaw has been struggling to keep up with its main competitor in Western Canada, Telus Corp.

The hearing before the Competition Tribunal is expected to last until mid-December and aims to resolve the impasse between the Commissioner of Competition, who wants to block the deal, and Rogers and Shaw.

The Competition Bureau is one of three regulatory agencies that must approve the deal, in addition to the CRTC and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

Rogers wants to close the Shaw deal by the end of the year, with a possible further extension to Jan. 31, 2023.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov.22, 2022.

Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI.B, TSX:SJR.B, TSX:T)

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