Factbox-Canada clears Rogers-Shaw deal but with conditions

(Reuters) – Canada on Friday granted the final approval for Rogers Communications Inc’s C$20 billion ($15 billion) buyout of Shaw Communications Inc, clearing the deal that will create the country’s No. 2 telecoms company.

Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne agreed to the transfer of wireless licenses held by Shaw’s Freedom Mobile unit to Quebecor Inc’s Videotron under some conditions.


* Will have to create 3,000 new jobs in Western Canada and maintain them for a minimum of 10 years after the closing date

* Invest at least C$2.5 billion to enhance its 5G network in Western Canada, and C$3 billion in additional network service expansion projects

* Expand access to low-cost broadband internet plans and launch a new low-cost mobile offering for low-income Canadians

* Invest C$1 billion to expand broadband internet access, at speeds of at least 50/10 megabits per second, and 5G mobile service in areas where it is not currently available

* Establish a western headquarters in Calgary and maintain it for a minimum of 10 years after the closing date

* To report to Innovation, Science and Economic Department and to the public every year on specific progress it has made towards commitments in the agreement

* Will have to offer wireless plans to Shaw Mobile customers at Shaw’s current prices for 5 years after deal close

* To pay C$100 million for every year in which any “material element” of any commitment is not met


* Will need to offer plans that are comparable to those currently available in Quebec, and offer options at least 20% cheaper than that of major players

* Cannot transfer Freedom Mobile licenses for 10 years

* Will have to expand its 5G wireless network in Freedom Mobile’s pre-existing operating territory within 2 years

* Will increase data allotments of existing Freedom Mobile customers by 10% as a near-term bonus, while investing to bring down prices overall

* Will expand mobile service into the Canadian province of Manitoba via the use of a signed Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) agreement and offer plans comparable to what it offers in Quebec

* To pay C$25 million for every year in which any “material element” of any commitment is not met

(Compiled by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta)