FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto – The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today welcomed the Minister of Industry’s announcement that the government will block TELUS Communications proposed acquisition of licensed spectrum owned by Mobilicity, a “new entrant” wireless carrier.
“The Minister called the industry’s bluff,” said John Lawford, Executive Director and General Counsel of PIAC. “This government stood up for wireless consumers today by telling the incumbent carriers that it wants consumers to be able to choose from four or more wireless carriers.”
PIAC and the Consumers’ Association of Canada had previously called on the Minister to block the TELUS-Mobilicity deal as well as a similar proposed spectrum transfer from Shaw Communications (a new entrant) to Rogers Communications, another incumbent. PIAC and CAC, along with other consumer groups, had said that such transfers violated the letter and spirit of the government’s spectrum rules and policy, which had been clearly laid out in the 2009 AWS spectrum auction. The policy was meant to increase competition and lower wireless prices for consumers by carving out a new space for competitors to the established players, TELUS, Rogers and Bell Canada.
“Today’s announcement places consumers back at the centre of Canadian spectrum policy,” stated Lawford, “right where they should be.”
Executive Director and General Counsel
Public Interest Advocacy Centre
ONE Nicholas Street, Suite 1204
(613) 447-8125 (cellphone)
(613) 562-0007 (Fax)