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Shaw-WIND Deal Means More of the Same High Prices for Wireless

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        December 17, 2015

 

OTTAWA – Canadian consumers will lose the possibility of a “maverick” national wireless carrier if the proposed acquisition of WIND Mobile Corp. (WIND) by Shaw Communications Inc. (Shaw) is allowed to proceed, the Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) and the Consumers’ Association of Canada (CAC) said today. WIND is the last remaining “new entrant” wireless company and was expected to adopt an aggressive strategy of national pricing after securing financing to build a state-of-the-art 4G (LTE) network this year.

“Losing WIND to Shaw means consumers will pay more for wireless, not less, because Shaw will join the other three big players in trying to sell their broadcasting content over wireless in increasingly expensive packages.,” said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel for PIAC. “Consumers will lose the chance for lower prices from all wireless carriers when the pricing pressure from this potential maverick is gone.”

The deal announced yesterday by Shaw and WIND is subject to approval by the Department of Industry, Science and Economic Development and the Competition Bureau. PIAC and CAC intend to ask ISED Minister Bains and the Competition Bureau to block the deal or otherwise impose conditions which protect WIND customers and prevent a substantial lessening of competition.

“It’s déjà-vu all over again. First Clearnet, then FIDO and now WIND – every company promising true competition in wireless is bought by large companies that fail to deliver on the promise of competition, choice and lower prices for Canadians,” said Bruce Cran, President of the Consumers’ Association of Canada.  “We have to stop repeating the mistakes of the past to deliver customers the wireless promise of the future.”

 

For more information:

 

John Lawford

Executive Director and General Counsel

Public Interest Advocacy Centre

ONE Nicholas Street, Suite 1204

Ottawa, Ontario

K1N 7B7

(613) 562-4002 x25

613-447-8125 (cell)

lawford@piac.ca

 

Bruce Cran

President

Consumers’ Association of Canada

(604) 943-9181

bcranbiz@telus.net

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