The closing of Rogers Communications’ proposed merger with rival Shaw Communications will again be pushed back, the companies announced as the old deadline arrived on Friday.
The blockbuster $26-billion merger plan will now have until March 31 to close.
The announcement comes as Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne weighs whether to give the final sign-off needed for the deal to close.
The merger would see Shaw sell off its Freedom Mobile division to Quebecor Inc.’s Videotron to appease antitrust concerns.
Champagne has previously said he would refuse to approve the transfer of wireless spectrum to Videotron unless certain guarantees were given that the carrier would hold onto the licences for a set period of time.
The deal has already gotten the green light from the Canada Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission as well as the Competition Tribunal.
Champagne said after the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the tribunal’s decision in late January that he would review the decision before giving his final say.
He told a committee earlier this week that he was “not near a decision” and does not feel bound by the companies’ deadlines.
Champagne has said he will make a decision in the best interests of Canadians that focuses on establishing a fourth national player in telecom and lowering wireless prices for consumers.
The deal’s planned closing has been delayed multiple times over the past year awaiting final approvals.
Shaw Communications and Corus Entertainment, the parent company of Global News, are owned by the Shaw family based in Calgary.