Following Bell’s acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) three days ago, regional carrier Sasktel has announced that it will commission a risk assessment to look into the potential impact on its own business.
SaskTel is now in a vulnerable position because they are the only remaining regional carrier in western Canada. In an interview with the Saskatoon StarPhoenix, Jim Reiter said:
“This is going to make us essentially an island in Western Canada.”
Reiter, who serves as the minister in charge of all telecommunications in the province of Saskatchewan, said that the report should be completed in the coming weeks and well outline possible risks SaskTel now faces following Bell’s acquisition of MTS. Reiter said:
“Hypothetically, I guess if it says minimal impact, minimal reaction. If there’s considerable impact, we’re going to evaluate it at that time.”
In the interview, Reiter also reassured that the Canadian government would not privatize crown corporations, like SaskTel. According to a study conducted by Frontier Centre for Public Policy, SaskTel would be valued at approximately $2 billion if it went up for sale.
On May 2, Bell announced that it had acquired MTS for $3.9 billion. The deal is expected to close in late 2016 or early 2017.