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TELUS Buying Mobilicity Bad for Consumers

OTTAWA – 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. “Consumers will face noticeably higher prices and less choice if only three major players control the market.”

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.”
For more information:

John Lawford
Executive Director and General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
ONE Nicholas Street, Suite 1204
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 7B7
(613) 562-4002×25

lawford@piac.ca

Bruce Cran
President
Consumers’ Association of Canada
(604) 418-8139
bcranbiz@telus.net

 

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