Globe and Mail: More power to the Big Three, less choice to Canadians
The new Rogers/Mobilicity deal will mean less choice and therefore higher prices. Article by Christine Dobby for The Globe and Mail While Mobilicity has finally found a buyer – selling to Rogers Communications Inc. for $465-million after more than two years in legal and financial limbo – Wind Mobile Corp. will also benefit from the deal through a significant increase in its spectrum holdings.
The Mobilicity deal is the catalyst for a series of spectrum transfers revealed Wednesday that will redistribute the airwaves in a much sought-after frequency band.
Rogers announced its deal to buy Mobilicity Wednesday morning and shortly after that the Ontario Superior Court judge who was supervising the small carrier’s creditor protection proceedings gave the transaction his stamp of approval.
Industry Canada, which must approve any transfers of licences for spectrum – the airwaves used to build cellular networks – has already approved the deal, which will also see Rogers pay $100-million to complete an option to purchase spectrum licences from Shaw Communications Inc. that have been unused since the Calgary-based company bought them in 2008.
Rogers and Shaw struck a broader deal that included the option in 2013 but have to date been unable to win government approval for the spectrum transfer until now.
In an announcement Wednesday afternoon, Industry Canada detailed the spectrum transfers, saying Wind will acquire 26 new licences for spectrum as a result of the transactions – 16 licences from the Shaw spectrum and 10 licences from Mobilicity.
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