The Competition Bureau says a Federal Court has issued an emergency stay temporarily suspending the Competition Tribunal’s dismissal of its case against Rogers Communications Inc.’s $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications Inc.
The federal agency says the suspension will remain in place until its application for a stay and an injunction is heard.
The injunction would block the deal from closing until the Bureau’s full appeal of the decision, rendered on Thursday, is heard.
The Tribunal said in its ruling that the merger was not likely to result in higher prices for wireless customers and that it was satisfied a plan to sell Shaw’s Freedom Mobile to Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron was adequate to ensure competition isn’t substantially reduced.
The Bureau had sought to block the merger and in its appeal argues that the Tribunal acted outside of its jurisdiction in a “rush to judgment.”
If the Tribunal’s decision stands, the merger will only require the approval of federal Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne to go ahead. Champagne said Saturday that he will wait until there is “clarity” in the ongoing legal process before issuing a decision.
The deal was originally scheduled to close by the end of the year, with a possible extension to Jan. 31.