The proposed C$26 billion merger hit a snag on Friday after the companies learned of Boswell’s opposition to the deal, setting the stage for a lengthy legal battle.

Boswell is said to have concerns about Rogers’ potential ownership of Freedom Mobile – Canada’s fourth-largest wireless carrier – which it will inherit from Shaw if the deal goes through.

Rogers insists it would be willing to sell the sub-brand, but the Competition Bureau remains dissatisfied.

In a joint statement, the two companies said they remained committed to the transaction, which they said “is in the best interests of Canada and Canadians because of the significant long-term benefits it will bring to consumers.”

“The transaction will foster greater competition by creating the strongest wholly-owned national network in Canada and generating more choices for businesses and consumers to realize the full economic and social benefits of next-generation networks. generation,” the statement added.

The deal was first announced last year and approved by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in March.

The takeover, if finally approved, will see Rogers acquire 16 cable services in Western Canada, a national satellite TV service and other broadcast services across the country.

Rogers and Shaw had scheduled June 13 as the closing date for the deal, although that has now been pushed back to July 31.

The delay is a significant setback for chief executive Tony Staffieri, who was named interim president and CEO of Rogers following a protracted dispute.