Briefing

Shaw to skip 3,500 MHz spectrum auction as regulators review Rogers deal

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The Calgary-based company and its wireless brand Freedom Mobile are not among those that applied to participate in the June bid for airwaves that will be used to deliver 5G services. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Rogers—which is seeking to buy Shaw in a $26-billion deal—will participate in the auction; last month, The Globe and Mail reported the other Big Three telecoms, Bell and Telus, had lobbied Ottawa to prevent Shaw from bidding on spectrum blocks set aside for smaller firms, citing government rules for merging carriers. Sitting out the auction means Freedom would lack a key resource to build out its own 5G network if the deal falls through or is blocked by regulators, and reduces its value if it’s forced to sell as an approval condition. The firms have yet to file documents about the merger with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, whose approval isn’t required for the wireless and internet parts of the deal, chair Ian Scott told the House industry committee Wednesday.