Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne says he will not approve the proposed deal between Rogers Communications Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc., though he left the door open to a revised agreement.
The $26-billion proposed merger would have meant the wholesale transfer of wireless spectrum licences from Shaw to Rogers.
Selling Shaw-owned Freedom Mobile has widely been seen as the main obstacle to the deal’s approval, and Videotron earlier this year agreed to buy it for $2.85 billion.
But Champagne says before he would approve the Videotron deal, he needs additional concessions.
He says Videotron would have to agree to keep the Freedom wireless licences for at least 10 years, and wants to see wireless prices in Ontario and Western Canada lowered by about 20 per cent to compare with Videotron’s current Quebec offerings.
The deal has already received CRTC approval, and Competition Tribunal proceedings are currently underway, with a mediation ruling expected later this week.