Quebecor Inc. has agreed with Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc. to buy Freedom Mobile for an enterprise value of $2.85 billion, the companies announced Friday.
The deal comes after the antitrust regulator reiterated that it opposes Rogers’ plan to buy Shaw, and is subject to approval by Canada’s competition watchdog and the federal government’s ministry. ‘Innovation, Science and Economic Development,’ said the companies.
It covers all Freedom-branded wireless and internet customers, infrastructure, spectrum and retail locations, they added in a statement.
Toronto-based Rogers made a $26 billion bid for Calgary-based Shaw and also offered to sell Shaw’s Freedom mobile unit to assuage competition concerns under the deal.
Deal offers ‘viable and sustainable’ competition, companies say
The Competition Bureau said the sale would weaken Freedom’s operations, reduce “competitive discipline” among national carriers and result in a transfer of wealth from low- and middle-income groups to wealthy Rogers-Shaw families.
“The parties strongly believe that the agreement effectively addresses concerns … about viable and sustainable wireless competition in Canada,” they said in the statement, referring to the watchdog’s reservations. Competition and the Minister for Industry.
The companies will also provide transportation and roaming services to Quebecor as part of the agreement.
“We look forward to obtaining pending regulatory approvals for our merger with Shaw so that we can deliver meaningful long-term benefits to Canadian consumers, businesses and the economy,” said Rogers Chief Executive Tony. Staffieri.
Canadian law allows the approval of mergers that harm competition if companies can prove that the mergers bring efficiency to the economy.