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Competition Bureau Approves Telus Bid for Public Mobile

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Telus is now free to acquire Public Mobile and its 280,000 customers: The Competition Bureau has approved the deal, saying that it is unlikely to “substantially lessen or prevent competition” in the areas in which the wireless start-up operates, reports the Financial Post.

“But as the vast majority of Canadian wireless subscribers are served by three national incumbent providers, the Bureau will continue to closely monitor the evolution of competition in Canada’s wireless telecommunications industry and take action where appropriate,” the Commissioner of Competition John Pecman added.

The federal government was the first one to give the green light on Telus’ bid to acquire the struggling wireless start-up. As Industry Minister James Moore said when he approved the deal, the G-block frequency band wasn’t part of Ottawa’s set-aside spectrum for wireless start-ups, and it isn’t considered to be as valuable as the AWS spectrum that Wind Mobile and Mobilicity obtained a license for in the 2008 wireless spectrum auction.

The great news for Public Mobile’s current and (maybe) future subscribers is that the $19/month unlimited talks plan will remain active, at least until the end of 2014. Telus plans to offer this plan under the Public Mobile brand.

The acquisition of Public Mobile isn’t Telus’ first deal: Canada’s no. 2 wireless player showed intense interest in the G-block spectrum when it quietly inked a deal with Novum Wireless Inc. earlier this year for licenses in the Alberta and British Columbia areas.

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