Bell and Telus Lobby Government to Block Quebecor from Buying Freedom Mobile: Report

As the Rogers-Shaw merger remains up in the air, rivals Bell and Telus want the federal government to block the sale of Freedom Mobile to Quebecor.

According to unnamed sources speaking to Reuters, Bell and Telus argued in letters to the Competition Bureau and federal government it should block Quebecor from buying Shaw’s wireless business, which includes Freedom Mobile and Shaw Mobile.

Bell and Telus reportedly argue in their letters Quebecor has previously not utilized obtained wireless spectrum, and this goes against competition, which the federal government is trying to achieve.

Quebecor told Reuters the lobbying by Bell and Telus “runs counter to the public interest and the pro-competition policy that the Government of Canada has pursued for several years.”

The parent company of Videotron in Quebec, Quebecor has been slated as a credible buyer of Shaw’s Freedom Mobile.

The Competition Bureau has outright denied the Rogers-Shaw merger, arguing it goes against wireless competition in the country, while noting the sale of Freedom Mobile to other existing telecoms would not satisfy competition requirements.

While the CRTC has approved the transfer of broadcasting licenses in the Rogers-Shaw deal, the Competition Bureau has decided against the merger. For now, the deal still requires approval from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.