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Rogers-Shaw deal to get scrutinized once again by House of Commons committee

The House of Commons industry and technology committee is planning to initiate another study of the proposed Rogers-Shaw merger.

Conservative MP Rick Perkins and New Democrat MP Brian Masse confirmed to The Canadian Press that the committee plans to meet on Jan. 25 to review the proposed $26 billion transaction.

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On Jan. 24, the Federal Court of Appeal will hear the Competition Bureau’s appeal of a decision that cleared the way for Rogers Communication Inc.’s takeover of Shaw Communications Inc.

Masse told The Canadian Press that all political parties agreed to call the committee meeting.

Members of Parliament on the committee had previously reviewed the prospective merger in March and recommended against the transaction.

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Now, they will conduct a second investigation into the deal, which has since changed to include the sale of Shaw-owned Freedom Mobile to Quebecor-owned Videotron Ltd.

Perkins said in an interview that Parliament should have the opportunity to review the deal as it now stands, since the study conducted in March was of a previous version of the proposed transaction.

To go ahead, the deal also still requires approval from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.

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And while that decision lies in the hands of Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, Perkins said the committee can provide “some useful perspective.”

“We can look at this from a much broader perspective of whether or not we think competition is harmed at all by particular deal,” he said.

Champagne has previously said he would not allow Rogers to acquire all of Shaw’s wireless licences, suggesting the final approval for the merger would require concessions including the sale of Freedom.

The minister has also indicated he will make a decision only after there is clarity on the ongoing legal process.

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