Competition Bureau backgrounder regarding the proposed acquisition by Shaw of WIND

Backgrounder


OTTAWA, February 4, 2016 — This statement summarizes the approach taken by the Competition Bureau (Bureau) in its review of the proposed acquisition by Shaw Communications Inc. (Shaw) of WIND Mobile Corp. (WIND) pursuant to an agreement announced on December 16, 2015.

On February 4, 2016, the Bureau issued a No Action Letter to Shaw and WIND indicating that the Commissioner of Competition does not, at this time, intend to make an application under section 92 of the Competition Act in respect of the proposed transaction.Footnote 1 In conducting its investigation, the Bureau reviewed information obtained from Shaw and WIND as well as information obtained from market participants pursuant to this and other recent Bureau reviews related to wireless telecommunications.

Transaction background

The proposed transaction is a merger between one provider of mobile wireless telecommunications services, WIND, and one diversified communications company, Shaw. WIND operates a wireless network in urban areas of British Columbia, Alberta, and southern and eastern Ontario. Through this network, WIND serves approximately 940,000 mobile wireless subscribers.

Shaw is a provider of cable, broadband internet and fixed‑line telephony services in western Canada and northern Ontario. In addition, Shaw owns Shaw Direct, a national satellite television provider, and Shaw Media, the owner of 20 television stations. On January 13, 2016, Corus Entertainment Inc. announced that it had entered into an agreement with Shaw to acquire Shaw Media.

Unlike WIND, Shaw does not own or operate a mobile wireless telecommunications network.

Industry context

The majority of mobile wireless subscribers in WIND’s operating areas are served by BCE Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., and TELUS Communications Inc., all of whom operate mobile wireless networks throughout the majority of Canada. Through the proposed transaction, Shaw will replace WIND as a competitor to these three national players in the provision of mobile wireless services.

As Shaw does not operate a mobile wireless network or have any mobile wireless subscribers, the proposed transaction does not increase the level of concentration in the mobile wireless industry. Accordingly, the Bureau concluded that the proposed transaction does not result in the merged entity having a significant increased ability to exercise market power.

The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competition and innovative marketplace.

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