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Federal court rejected Telus’ bid to block Quebecor’s $ 830 million spectrum purchase in Western Canada

The purchase of Spectrum is key to Quebecor’s plans to expand mobile services outside of Quebec’s base, especially if it was unsuccessful to acquire Freedom Mobile from Shaw.

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A federal court judge dismissed an objection by Telus Communications Inc. to Quebecor Inc.’s right to purchase spectrum in western Canada to develop 5G cellular technology for mobile phones.

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The $ 830 million spectrum purchase is key to Quebeccor’s plans to expand mobile services outside Quebec, especially if Shaw Communications Inc.’s acquisition of Freedom Mobile is unsuccessful. Freedom is now hampered as Shaw and telecommunications giant Rogers Communications Inc. are trying to convince competition and government officials to complete the planned $ 26 billion merger.

Judge Alan Diner of the Federal Court announced on Tuesday in a decision on Monday that Quebecor Inc.’s Vidéotron ltée division was eligible to bid on the 3500MHz spectrum secured at the 2021 auction supervised by the Minister of Industry. Telus and Bell objected, and Quebecor argued that it did not meet the government’s own procedures for layaway eligibility at auction.

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Specifically, Telus claims that Quebecor’s Vidéotron unit is ineligible for bidding because the Montreal-based company did not provide commercial telecommunications to customers in areas where the reserve spectrum was auctioned. Did. He also claimed that the process lacked transparency.

“I have determined that the deferred eligibility process and the Minister’s decision are fair and rational and will reject the (Telus) application,” wrote Judge Diner.

Telus sought a previous injunction and lost its bid in October. Bell withdrew his dissent before the decision on Monday, according to Quebecor officials.

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In the ruling, Judge Diner said Vidéotron had indicated in his application that he was eligible for layaway in British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba through his affiliate Fibre Noir.

Vidéotron’s application has confirmed that it has an affiliate called Fibrenoire, which is registered with CRTC as a facility-based provider, and already points to an area that is already providing commercial telecommunications services to the general public.

Confidential documents provided by the application include “How Vidéotron meets the eligibility criteria for reserve, such as description of services provided by Vidéotron and Fibrenoire in their respective service areas, sales and distribution networks, number of clients, etc.” It contained a detailed description of how it was provided and how those clients accessed the service, “said the ruling.

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During the application process, on April 12, 2021, Quebecor responded to requests for additional information from government officials and provided detailed descriptions of the various categories of services offered by Fibrenoire in western Canada. Describes how business customers access services, how equipment is distributed, and the specific services offered to each customer. “

Daniel Anderson, Manager of the Spectrum License and Policy Branch of the Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) of Canada, uses Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, and Thunder Bay, blocked numbers.

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“In both cases, Fibre Noir can provide Internet services, but responded that it will be arranged through third-party infrastructure rather than through Fibre Noir’s own infrastructure,” the court ruling said. Stated.

Quebec CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau told analysts at a conference call last week to expand his wireless products outside Quebec with or without the acquisition of the show’s Freedom Mobile business. He said he is still working on that. With the Telus spectrum challenge gone, expansion plans will obviously be easier, but analysts say Quebecor could get Freedom earlier this month after the Bureau of Competition moves to thwart the Rogers-Shaw merger. He said he had improved sex and raised concerns about intensifying competition and rising prices. consumer.

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Perado was a frank critic of what Rogers, Tellus, and Bell called the “oligopoly” and his desire to create a well-funded and viable fourth national wireless player.

When Telus lost an injunction in federal court last October, Péladeau issued a statement lamenting the ongoing battle. The wireless market creates healthy competition where it doesn’t exist and lowers the price Canadians pay for mobile services. “


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Federal court rejected Telus’ bid to block Quebecor’s $ 830 million spectrum purchase in Western Canada

Source link Federal court rejected Telus’ bid to block Quebecor’s $ 830 million spectrum purchase in Western Canada

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