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November 22, 2021 7:26 am  #1


Let the hearings begin...

The CRTC is slated to begin the hearing phase for Rogers $26 Billion (with a $ and a B) of Shaw Cable...

The federal competition bureau will also have to hold a separate hearing into the proposed acquisition as well at a latter date...

Should be interesting... 
 

 

November 22, 2021 2:53 pm  #2


Re: Let the hearings begin...

CBC.ca is apparently streaming the hearings ....nothing on right now but here is the link.
https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/rogers-shaw-crtc-1.6255093
 

 

November 22, 2021 3:35 pm  #3


Re: Let the hearings begin...

I literally laughed out loud when I saw the headline below on an article outlining how Rogers and Shaw are trying to sell this travesty to the CRTC. 

Rogers and Shaw Tell CRTC Merger Will Enhance Competition, Help Lower-Income Canadians

Enhance competition? How exactly, do you do that by eliminating an option for consumers? In Rogers-speak, if you eliminate competition it will increase competition. How, exactly does that compute? 

And as for bringing down prices for low-income consumers, when, exactly, did Rogers ever lower its bills for anyone without being forced to? If there's any justice in the world, this travesty will never be approved. But the CRTC chair is a former Telus lobbyist, so I suspect the real world won't enter into it and the outcome has long ago been decided in some back room. 

I hope I'm wrong. But it won't surprise me if I'm not.  

 

November 22, 2021 3:48 pm  #4


Re: Let the hearings begin...

Competition Bureau of Canada, and ISEDC will each hold their own respective hearings dealing with Shaw wireless/cellular/telephone, and Satellite Relay Distribution Service (Shaw Business) etc.

CRTC Chair Scott, opening remarks...


---------

SpeechBy Ian Scott, Chairperson Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Gatineau, Quebec November 22, 2021 (Check against delivery)

Good morning and welcome to this public hearing.Before we begin, I wish to acknowledge that the lands on which we are gathered are part of the traditional unceded Algonquin territory. I would like to thank the Anishnaabeg people and pay respect to their Elders.

I also recognize that many participants joining the hearing virtually are located in different places and therefore may be situated in a different Indigenous traditional territory. I encourage you to take a moment to think about this.Over the course of this hearing, we will consider Rogers Communications’ application to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Shaw Communications with respect only to its broadcasting assets, which include:


  • Shaw’s current ownership interest in CPAC
  • cable television services in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
  • the national satellite television service, Shaw Direct
  • the national satellite relay distribution service, Shaw Broadcast Services, and
  • Shaw Pay-Per-View.

This proposed transaction is of considerable scope and would impact Canadians, producers, broadcasters and the industry as a whole. Over two million Canadians subscribe to Shaw’s cable and satellite television services. Many Canadians stay connected to their communities through Shaw’s community channels. Broadcasters and producers rely on funding contributed by Shaw for the creation of local news, community programming and independent productions. As with all ownership transactions, we consider the merits of the application under the existing regulatory framework, and it is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that a transaction is in the public interest. In this case, Rogers bears the burden of proof.As I have mentioned it previously, this application, and by extension, this hearing, strictly deals with the broadcasting component of the overall transaction announced by Rogers and Shaw.We understand that the transaction also involves Shaw’s other business lines, including telephone, wireless and Internet services. However, we will not be reviewing any telecommunications-related matters during this hearing as the companies do not require prior approval from the Commission. These elements will be subject to review by the Competition Bureau and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Therefore, I would ask interveners to focus on matters of concern to the application before us.The Commission will take into account the intangible benefits that could result from this transaction, as well as the tangible benefits in the form of the financial contributions that would be made to the broadcasting system.As this transaction impacts the ownership structure and governance of CPAC, it has been granted the opportunity to appear in its own right to answer questions pertaining to these issues and its operations.  Finally, I would like to assure all parties that the application will be assessed on its own merits. As always, the Commission will base its decision on the evidence on the public record and presented as part of this hearing.ProcedureBefore we begin, allow me to introduce my colleagues. The panel consists of:

  • Claire Anderson, Commissioner representing British Columbia and Yukon
  • Nirmala Naidoo, Commissioner representing Alberta and the Northwest Territories
  • Monique Lafontaine, Commissioner representing the Ontario region
  • Ellen Desmond, Commissioner representing the Atlantic Region and Nunavut
  • and myself, Ian Scott, Chairperson.

The Commission staff members assisting us include:

  • Cédrick Lelièvre, Hearing Manager
  • Christina Maheux and Matthew Welch, Legal Counsel, and
  • Jade Roy, Hearing Secretary.

I would now like to invite Ms. Roy to explain the procedure we will be following.Madam Secretary…- 30 -ContactsMedia Relations
(819) 997-9403General Inquiries
(819) 997-0313
Toll-free 1 (877) 249-CRTC (2782)
TTY (819) 994-0423
Ask a question or make a complaintStay Connected
Follow us on Twitter @CRTCeng
Like us on FacebookThese documents are available in alternative format upon request.

Last edited by Glen Warren (November 22, 2021 3:50 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

November 22, 2021 4:55 pm  #5


Re: Let the hearings begin...

How could such a merger impact Global News?

How the Rogers-Shaw deal would affect Global News | Fagstein

Last edited by Media Observer (November 22, 2021 4:55 pm)

 

November 22, 2021 5:30 pm  #6


Re: Let the hearings begin...

Great article Media Observer and another reason this should never be allowed. Rogers has way too much power and influence as it is, and its complaints that it's not well represented in Western Canada ring pretty hollow, given how many subs and stations they already have. 

As to the crazy idea that fewer companies mean more competition, here's the pretzel logic from an article in the Toronto Star:

“Where is the competition enhanced?” [CRTC Chair Ian] Scott said. “I’m not quite getting your point that a combination of Rogers and Shaw will create more competition.”

Ted Woodhead, senior vice-president of regulatory at Rogers, said competition would happen at “the fringes,” as the company offers its IPTV (Internet Protocol television) cable service to new customers in Western Canada.

"Eric Bruno, senior vice-president of content and residential products, said expanding the company’s IPTV service, which is based on technology it licenses from U.S.-based Comcast, would help counter “one of the biggest threats (to) the Canadian broadcasting system.”

“Any Canadian can walk into their living room, turn on their TV, and go straight to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or Disney Plus and completely bypass the Canadian broadcasting system,” Bruno said.

"He said IPTV lets customers access all of that digital content through one interface that also features traditional channels such as Rogers’ Citytv or other specialty stations."


Ah, the old CanCon canard. (At "the fringes" no less.) It never fails. I'm not surprised they pulled that one out already. It's the CRTC's constant pre-occupation. Besides, Rogers had its chance at a streaming audience and shut down Shomi before its time, leaving the market to Bell's Crave. They can't possibly be allowed to use that as an excuse now. 

https://clearthis.page/?u=https://clearthis.page/?u=https://www.thestar.com/business/2021/11/22/edward-rogers-tells-crtc-he-needs-shaw-deal-to-compete-with-digital-streaming-giants.html 

 

November 23, 2021 9:25 pm  #7


Re: Let the hearings begin...

Further to the post about how this merger would affect Global, the fallout from this deal just keeps getting more and more confusing and bizarre. 

At the hearings on Tuesday, Telus - which opposes the merger - worried that the newly combined company would have too much power, reminiscent of the conclusion that led to the split of CP24 and City TV in the late 2000s. The western-based phone provider demanded that Rogers be made to invest money into Global News if the deal is approved.

From the Toronto Star:

"...Telus executives said if the commission does approve the transfer of licences, it should require Rogers to continue funding Global News.

“Global News is a service that many Western Canadians rely on,” said Zainul Mawji, executive vice-president of home solutions at Telus, adding that Global attracts more than 20 per cent of viewers to its evening newscasts in B.C. and Alberta, compared to just over one per cent for Citytv stations."

For its part, the idea of Rogers having to fund its own competition is incredibly bizarre, but stranger things have happened - before the move to Yonge & Dundas, the now-Rogers owned City TV and the Bell owned CP24 were not only operating in the same building at 299 Queen St. W, but in the same newsroom!

I've been told of private line-up meetings held in back offices, so the other guys (who just days before the CRTC divided them had been their own colleagues) wouldn't be able to hear what the competition was doing. What an awkward mess that was! 

The easiest thing is to simply say no to this power grab and leave things just as they are. But this is the CRTC, the architects of the previous outcome mentioned above. So it's anyone's guess what they'll do this time.  

Toronto Star: Global News will take a $13-million hit if the Rogers-Shaw merger goes ahead, CRTC hears

https://clearthis.page/?u=https://www.thestar.com/business/2021/11/23/rogers-takeover-of-shaw-would-mean-a-13-million-hit-to-global-news-and-would-hurt-independent-broadcasters-crtc-hears.html

 

November 24, 2021 6:05 pm  #8


Re: Let the hearings begin...

RadioActive wrote:

“Global News is a service that many Western Canadians rely on,” said Zainul Mawji, executive vice-president of home solutions at Telus, adding that Global attracts more than 20 per cent of viewers to its evening newscasts in B.C. and Alberta, compared to just over one per cent for Citytv stations."

What a ratings disparity! My goodness. 

 

November 25, 2021 12:39 am  #9


Re: Let the hearings begin...

The News Hour with Tony Parsons on BCTV (now Global BC) had the highest share of any local newscast in North America.  The station had repeaters that covered 96 percent of the province.

 

November 25, 2021 11:02 pm  #10


Re: Let the hearings begin...

An expert warns that if the Rogers-Shaw deal is approved, job cuts at both companies will not be far behind. This is not a surprise. Rogers has a history of doing this over the years - including at City TV. Not long after taking over the station from Bell, 10 people were cut in a single day, followed by many more a few months later.

In fact, they chopped so many employees at once they left themselves too short and were forced to hire back two of them in the newsroom. So, according to one expert, a yes to Shaw means a bloodbath will follow. 

From the Toronto Star:

In a twist of Canadian competition law, the deal could hurt competition and be bad for wireless, home internet or TV customers, but still get the green light from the bureau if the companies can show it leads to significant savings. That’s bad news for workers, [Robin Shaban, public policy researcher and co-founder of economic consulting firm Vivic Research] said. 

“We have a law that allows mergers that hurts competitors if the merger leads to sufficient job losses,” she said, referencing what’s known as the “efficiencies defence.” 

Shaban said companies often cite job cuts as one of the top cost savings — or “synergies,” as Rogers calls the $1 billion it expects to save yearly within two years of closing.

“You can’t have $1 billion in annual cost savings and not have any job cuts,” she said. 

Job cuts are likely in Rogers’ $26-billion deal to acquire Shaw, critics say
https://clearthis.page/?u=https://www.thestar.com/business/2021/11/25/jobs-cuts-are-inevitable-in-rogers-26-billion-deal-to-acquire-shaw-critics-say.html
 

 

November 26, 2021 10:55 am  #11


Re: Let the hearings begin...

The Waterloo Record - which is owned by the Toronto Star's Metroland Media Group - has come out with a very strong editorial about this deal and why it will likely be bad for Canadians overall. A good read and I agree with their conclusions. 

Rogers-Shaw deal could hit you in the pocketbook