There is drama in every merger, acquisition and appointment. That’s certainly evident in today’s news as the Competition Bureau and international events affect business activities everywhere.
The Competition Bureau wants to block Rogers’ acquisition of Shaw. The proposed $26 billion acquisition of the two cable television/wireless service giants would expose Canadians to higher prices, poorer service quality and fewer choices, particularly in wireless services, the Bureau said.
Yesterday the Bureau requested an order from the Competition Tribunal to prevent the acquisition from proceeding. They are also requesting an injunction to stop the parties from closing the deal until its application is heard. The Canadian wireless services market is already concentrated. Rogers, Bell and Telus serve approximately 87% of Canadian subscribers.
“The Competition Bureau conducted a rigorous investigation of the proposed Rogers-Shaw merger and concluded that it would substantially prevent or lessen competition in wireless services,” said Matthew Boswell, Commissioner of Competition. “Eliminating Shaw would remove a strong, independent competitor in Canada’s wireless market – one that has driven down prices, made data more accessible, and offered innovative services to its customers. We are taking action to block this merger to preserve competition and choice for an essential service that Canadians expect to be affordable and high quality.”
Agora Brands, an ecommerce aggregator specializing in the Shopify ecosystem, has received an $83.5-million growth-capital investment. The investment was led by Toronto-based Maverix Private Equity. Acquisitions are central to the investment. The company intends to acquire small-to-medium sized direct-to-consumer (D2C) businesses with $1–20 million in annual revenues within the Shopify ecosystem.
“We’re creating an environment that truly facilitates the right connections for the founders of the brands we acquire,” said Agora co-founder Ray Cao. “They are constantly advising each other, allowing each of them to tap into expertise they might otherwise never have access to. One person might have experience with optimizing Google ad words, while another knows a lot about reducing shipping costs. Together they become this really powerful vault of institutional knowledge that helps them scale up and grow their businesses faster and more successfully than they could ever do on their own.”
Skymetrix, has appointed Michael Scheidler as CEO. The Germany-based company specializes in aviation fuel and cost management through its cloud-based system. It was formed after the 2021 merger of FuelPlus and Airpas and comes as Germany is trying to end its dependence on Russian fuel following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“I’m delighted to be leading Skymetrix and I’m really excited about our new proposition for our customers and the wider industry,” Scheidler said. “We will be able to offer one platform that transforms fuel and cost management for airlines and brings benefits that go beyond profitability. We’re focused on maximizing success for our customers, which means working closely with them to understand their goals and challenges, sharing our experiences, and shaping a solution that fits perfectly.”