Document Reveals Verizon Visited Ottawa in May, Decided WIND Mobile Bid

According to a report by the Globe and Mail, Verizon did not consider a bid for WIND Mobile until after a U.S. delegation traveled to Ottawa for a key meeting with Industry Canada officials back on May 21. This coincides with what Rogers earlier revealed Ottawa met with Verizon and offered ‘incentives’ for the company to setup shop in Canada. It appears discussions between both parties have been ongoing since the spring:

The New York-based telecom sent a contingent of staff to meet with officials from Industry Canada on May 21, according to a document obtained by The Globe and Mail. Although that document is short on specifics, two people familiar with the situation separately confirmed that Verizon employees and government officials conducted “exploratory talks” in Ottawa about wireless opportunities on that spring day.

This specific trip was important as weeks later Verizon came up with a $700 million offer for WIND Mobile and also signed a non-disclosure agreement with Mobilicity to acquire the wireless entrant. Back in June it was rumoured Verizon was in contention to bid for WIND Mobile and Mobilicity.

Sources say that following the trip to Ottawa, Verizon decided to undertake a more detailed assessment of potential “market opportunities” north of the border. Weeks later, it tabled a preliminary $700-million offer for Wind Mobile and signed a non-disclosure agreement with Mobilicity as part of early-stage talks with the struggling startup.

Industry Canada did not comment on the story other than to say:

“As part of departmental business, officials meet regularly with representatives from telecommunication companies as well as stakeholders on a variety of subjects,”

The report also reveals the following carriers have considered Canada as a wireless investment: AT&T Corp., T-Mobile, Vodafone Group PLC of Britain, Telenor Group of Norway and Japan’s NTT Docomo.

One source says if the U.S. wireless giant does not end up coming to Canada, it could negotiate a roaming deal with a Canadian carrier for its customers to roam here on a lowered rates.

Tension has mounted recently with the Big Three telcos launching a PR campaign against Ottawa urging for changes to its wireless rules to prevent Verizon from entering local markets. Incumbents have even put pressure on its employees to lobby Ottawa.

Just yesterday Industry Minister James Moore lashed back at incumbents over their misleading lobbying, specifically Bell Canada board member Anthony Fell who accused the former of not being able to handle telecommunications policy as a rookie Industry Minister.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • JB

    I think T-Mobile would be a breath of fresh air, even more than Verizon. That said, bring on ANY competition… if it has the big 3 bullies nervous, then it is no doubt good for Canadians.

  • Guest

    Question is, would the big 3 forced to drop price to compete or would they be able to keep the price, but just lose market share. Ultimate we Canadian want to see price drop.

  • JB

    Agreed — it won’t do us a whole lot of good if Verizon comes in and offers the same services for $1 less.

  • T-Mobile tried. Microcell Communications (now Fido) was developed by VoiceStream Inc. (Now T-Mobile USA).

  • Vodafone… NTT DoCoMo… OMG this will be my dream to see them in Canada :O

  • JB

    Oh? Very interesting. Perhaps they had a good experience in the market, considering they were acquired, and would consider a re-entry?

  • JB

    You’d think all this talk would cause the big 3 to take heed rather than jack up prices. Maybe they just want to be able to offer “discounts” once the competition heats up?

  • iv

    Verizon would have to offer lower rates to increase subscribers what would the incentive be for customers other than that? The only way I would switch from FIDO is if Verizon offered a better rate/plan. With Verizons purchasing power I’m sure they could squeeze out price drops from Apple, Samsung, BlackBerry on units.

  • Chrome262

    you assuming that they would offer deals so that you could talk to your pals/family in Europe easier? Thats why I am hoping for anyone one of the American carriers. would make my life easier when I travel there as I wouldn’t need to buy a card there.

  • Chrome262

    Or better services, if they gave more data for instance, or no Roaming, one year contracts. then they wouldn’t have to be that much cheaper.

  • Chrome262

    Actually, I don’t get why one of the Big 3 just doesn’t do that, drives me nuts how there is no point switching carriers anymore.

  • Chrome262

    Yeah I don’t get it either, but then again there is no where for us to go. but yeah it looks like they are just upping prices, so by xmas they can drop them again is all I could think of. But this slow rise of data costs is crazy, its like 20 to 30 dollars more for the same data.

  • Mark Mark

    I’ve said it before and will keep saying it.. If verizon enters the market I would be willing to pay maybe 20 to 30% more just to not have to pay the Big 3 another penny! They’ve screwed me so much over the years that I would take ANY opportunity to not have to pay them any longer…

  • Fireeast

    Verizon won’t lower rates, but I imagine consumers will flock to them for better customer service and just to avoid the big 3. This hopefully will force them to lower their prices creating competition. I will happily pay the same amount and move to verison.

  • ward09

    If they have a plan “B”, to compete, they won’t bring it out until they have to. Until then they are praying Ottawa backs down or Verizon changes its mind.

  • Guest

    Most, if not all, corporations are the essentially same; they screw their customers. I think we can’t put too much hope in Verizon having a better service; they may be so in the honeymoon period, but after a few years, and having a customer base, they all slide back to the lowest energy state, which is bad customer service, I’m afraid, not too much unlike the big 3.