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150 CEOs Appeal to PM Harper to Reverse Wireless Rules ‘Favouring’ Verizon

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According to the Globe and Mail, the lobbying efforts to prevent Verizon from entering Canada have reached new heights as the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, which consists of 150 leading Canadian executives, have written a letter directly to Prime Minster Stephen Harper, urging him to rethink wireless rules which give Verizon advantages over incumbents Rogers, TELUS and Bell:

The Canadian Council of Chief Executives delivered a letter to the Prime Minister late last week asking him to rethink rules that president John Manley says would give Verizon, which is considering expanding into Canada, a preferential right to buy wireless spectrum.

It now appears corporate Canada is questioning Ottawa’s role to change the wireless market here to favourite U.S. giant Verizon. While the letter doesn’t specifically mention Rogers, TELUS or Bell, it does refer to ‘Canadian companies’ which would be discriminated against. Excerpts are below:

“Your government has clearly indicated its desire for increased competition in the telecommunications sector,” Mr. Manley wrote in a July 26 letter to Mr. Harper. “While we as a council support that objective, we also believe that public policy should not discriminate against Canadian companies in favour of large foreign operators.”

[…]

“Large foreign firms wishing to enter the Canadian market should be subject to the same infrastructure build-out requirements that apply to incumbent Canadian firms,”

In an interview with the Globe, Manley says “there is no level playing field here,” which seemingly reflects the past arguments we’ve heard from CEOs of Rogers, TELUS and Bell. He continued to say “we favour open markets and competition – bring it on – but don’t tie somebody’s hand behind their back.”

Interestingly enough, Manley–who was a former industry minister responsible for telecom policy–says the council normally avoids sector-specific issues, but only gets involved when matters have wider implications for the economy or business community, such as this specific case with wireless rules favouring Verizon.

The public relations and lobbying efforts are at full steam ahead by our incumbents and now the business community to prevent Verizon from entering Canada. The situation over Verizon is so ‘dire’ for incumbents, just the mere mention of Verizon coming to Canada caused stock prices to drop last month. With the 700MHz spectrum auction upcoming this winter, incumbents are pushing for Ottawa to change the rules and postpone the auction, so Verizon cannot bid on two blocks on spectrum, unlike the ‘Big 3’.

Thanks Prashanna

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  • K3

    ” but don’t tie somebody’s hand behind their back.”

    So corporate Canada says no but the average every day Canadian customer says yes.

    ..This is deep.. need a minute now to weigh this out.
    Anyone want to go for coffee?
    Verizon might be getting a life time customer here.

  • FragilityG4

    Too bad for The Big Three … They’ve had their way with us too long … Now it’s time for them to experience something all other business experience … Competition.

  • thosebitchesshoulddie

    And every last one of those ceos should be immediately canned and be forced to forfeit any and all of their pensions and/or nest eggs or face 25 years in the pen for not being a Canadian in the true sense and working to better the country and peoples lives as a whole instead of their already fat pocketbooks. Ashholes and kochsuckers is what they are.

  • artikas

    Amen

  • ????Dennis

    I’m at a loss for words now…. This shit is just getting sickening! 150 CEO’s? Are you fucking kidding me? Where the fuck were they this whole time we were getting gouged? Now I know for sure that Verizon would ruin the Big 3 and offer better prices. The Telcos are rallying the troops and trying to pull together whatever firepower they can to stop competition. I’m from Toronto and Verizon is getting treated just like Rob Ford. Keep the good guy out so that the rich keep their power and get richer…..

  • Idiots

    You think Verizon, who himself is gouging and charging the same if not more to the us customers, will become good to Canadians? Whatever crack you’re smoking please quit, it’s clearly clouding you’re “jugement” there’s a lot more at stake that you saving $5-10 a month. You realize that they won’t invest a penny to help Canadians get jobs or donate to any sort of development in our country. Think before you speak

  • CC

    I can’t wait to see what happen if Verizon does come into Canadian market. All the people will sure have a different view after that. Most people will eat their own words.

    Verizon is not our “friend” and certainly not a charity. I, as a Canadian, am waiting to see how a US company toss us around just like the Big 3.

  • K3

    *Copy & Paste

    ————

    There’s a reason why the big three are all calling foul now.

    ————

    Corporate Canada is the last of attempts to prevent some extensive competition in this country.

    ” You realize that they won’t invest a penny to help Canadians get jobs or donate to any sort of development in our country. Think before you speak ”

    You could take your own advice, $5-10 saved per month means putting $5-$10 into the economy any place else other than that big bag Mohamed gets to walk away with next year.

    By the way you work for one of the big three don’t you?

  • CC

    I agree CEOs get paid a ton on the paychecks that it is crazy. On the other hand, I am sure there are thousands of Canadians working at retails or centers that we put our money into when we pay our bills. Let’s not forget that.

    I said on other post that suddenly all the CEOs appear from no where start talking about stuff that make us think they care. All companies and CEOs only care one thing and one thing only, MONEY!

  • 1His_Nibs1

    Well all I can say is if 150 CEO’s are piping up then I’m all for Verizon heading North. These guys probably have major stock in one if not all of the Big 3 and are probably scared shitless their investments will be worth sweet fuck all! In a capitalist society you win some and you lose some but these guys want to have their cake and eat it too. It’s the only reason I can think of as to why they’re so concerned all of a sudden. It certainly isn’t concern for Joe Consumer. More likely concern for their investment portfolio.

  • ????Dennis

    Well said and so true!

  • Peter Pottinger

    What these idiots don’t (or can’t) realize is the more they protest the stronger our support for verizon gets. and then a 5th carrier, and a 6th, who knows where the limit is

  • 1His_Nibs1

    +1

  • Hudsonoil

    I do work for one of the major telcos and I am not a CEO. I don’t want to lose my job, Do some actual research and tell me that Verizon deserves to be treated like a small start up. Check cell phone prices around the world, especially in countries with a G7 network and tell me we are gouging customers. Verizon is not going to charge less that’s a pipe dream you will see. I welcome them coming here but not at an advantage of not building their own network or getting preferential treatment in buying up spectrum and companies like mobilicity

  • crasucks

    I completely agree.

    For Canada’s quality of life to continue we need to stop selling out resources, businesses and services to other countries.
    When we lose a Canadian company we lose all the jobs that go with it along with all the taxes those jobs paid.
    In the short term it may seem attractive to have more competition, but all your money is going across the border if the competition is not Canadian.
    Unfortunately many people are ignorant in modern society with short term thinking.
    Outside competition is ok, but the local companies should have incentives to keep local jobs.
    Outsourcing is destroying Canada and that is a fact.

    I agree that Bell, Rogers, Telus etc. can afford to lower their pricing structure and some competition will help that, but don’t think that destroying the local companies is ever going to be a good long term strategy.

    Another problem with allowing an outside company to piggyback on cell towers for free is that there is no longer any incentive for the companies putting in the infrastructure to expand and provide the competition with more coverage.

    If Verizon gets into Canada you can guarantee that the coverage growth will come to a stand still. Growing rural communities will be screwed, people in outer areas waiting for enhanced digital coverage will be out of luck.
    Next gen speeds requiring hardware upgrades will be significantly delayed as no one has an incentive to put out the money when outside competition can under cut and beat them in pricing.

    To allow a non-Canadian company to have an advantage over a Canadian company for a Canadian service should be Treason.

    And no, I do not work for a phone company or anything related, I am just not ignorant of the long term picture.

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