TORONTO – In its bid to win takeover approval, telecommunications provider Rogers Communications Inc on Monday filed documents in court that show Canada’s second largest telecommunications company, Telus Corp, tried to scuttle Rogers’ $US20 billion ($15 billion) deal to buy Shaw Communications Inc. .
As Rogers challenges Canadian regulators’ rejection of the deal on antitrust grounds, Rogers may try to argue that Telus wanted to kill the deal because it would increase mobile competition and benefit Canadians. The hearing at the Competition Tribunal will determine whether the Rogers-Shaw merger will reduce competition in Canada’s telecommunications sector.
Rogers attorney Jonathan Lisus provided internal documents from a former Telus employee detailing a plan called “Project Fox” to end the deal. While no details were released about the identification of the documents, they were entered into the court’s official file, indicating they are considered legitimate.
“How to kill this deal without making it a competition?” Make it about jobs,” one document said, recommending that Shaw’s unions be allowed to fight the takeover.
Telus and Rogers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Canada’s antitrust regulator has blocked Rogers’ proposed deal to buy Shaw on the grounds that it will reduce competition in Canada, where wireless prices are among the highest in the world.
The competition court is expected to be heard for four weeks.
($1 = 1.3289 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Divya Rajagopal; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)