Court Relies Heavily on Testimony of Compass Lexecon Expert Mark A. Israel
Compass Lexecon was retained by Rogers Communications Inc. (“Rogers”) to provide economic analysis and expert testimony in support of a C$26 billion landmark merger between Rogers and Shaw Communications Inc. (“Shaw”), a transaction that also involved the sale of Shaw’s wireless assets to Videotron Ltd. (“Videotron”). The Canadian Competition Bureau opposed the transaction and a hearing before the Canadian Competition Tribunal (“The Tribunal”) was scheduled for November 2022.
Following a month-long trial, The Tribunal ruled in favor of Rogers, Shaw, and Videotron on December 31, 2022, citing extensively to the expert testimony of Compass Lexecon Senior Managing Director Dr. Mark A. Israel. The Tribunal found that Dr. Israel was “knowledgeable, candid, and forthcoming” and that he “effectively set out a number of important shortcomings” in the opposing expert’s analysis. In areas where Dr. Israel and the opposing expert disagreed, the Tribunal found his “testimony to be more robust and persuasive.”
The Tribunal concluded that “Dr. Israel persuasively demonstrated that [the opposing expert’s] model would not have predicted a material price increase” and “agree with Dr. Israel that [the opposing expert’s] predicted post-Merger price increases are highly doubtful,” therefore “the Commissioner has not met his burden of establishing such effects.” Moreover, “[t]he Merger and Divestiture are also unlikely to result in materially lower levels of non-price dimensions of competition, relative to those that would likely exist in the absence of the arrangement.”
Dr. Israel was supported by a Compass Lexecon team led by Yair Eilat and Bryan Keating that included Todd Bettisworth, Iryna Iakusheva, Robert Oandasan, Jeff Raileanu, Michael Sabor, Ka He Tse, Josephine Xu, and Allan Zhang.
The Compass Lexecon team worked closely with Matthew Law, Crawford Smith, and Jonathan Lisus of Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb LLP, and David Rosner and Michael Koch of Goodmans LLP.