Wheels coming off minister’s plan for four wireless carriers.
from the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC)
Consumers will lose more ground in the cellphone market unless the Industry Minister or the Competition Bureau stops the proposed acquisition of Mobilicity by TELUS, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC) said today. Mobilicity, Canada’s second-largest “new entrant” wireless company, will be absorbed by TELUS, Canada’s second-largest cellphone company, if the agreement announced today is approved by the federal government and the Competition Bureau.
“Losing Mobilicity to TELUS means we are that much closer to the big three being the only three wireless companies in Canada,” said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel for PIAC.
TELUS must seek permission from the federal government to purchase Mobilicity, a “new entrant,” within five years from the last spectrum auction. The federal auction rules prohibit major cellphone companies like TELUS, Rogers and Bell Canada from buying new entrants or their spectrum until February 2014.
“We call once again for the Minister to clearly tell the major wireless companies that they cannot reduce consumer choice by buying up their competition” said Bruce Cran, President of the Consumers’ Association of Canada.
Lawford noted that wireless is already on the ropes, with WIND Mobile and Public Mobile, two other “new entrants,” now are also threatening to sell to the major competition: “Sadly, the wheels are coming off the Industry Minister’s four competitor model.”