TekSavvy asks CRTC to block proposed sale of Freedom Mobile to Videotron, says it violates Telecommunications Act

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techsavvy Not backing down. Ontario-based independent Internet service provider (ISP) is asking CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) to review Freedom Mobile’s pre-conditional sale to Videotron as part of the Rogers-Shaw C$26 billion acquisition.

TechSavvy says the merger hinges entirely on a side deal that violates Section 27(2) of the Telecom Act.

during competition tribunal hearing, Rogers argued that the wholesale rates set by the CRTC for ISPs that lease access to large carrier networks are too high to allow Videotron to compete outside Quebec, which, according to TechSavvy, confirms that Rogers will provide Videotron with access to its broadband network. Preferential rates that are lower than CRTC regulated rates. These preferential rates are unfair as they are not accessible to other ISPs like TechSavvy.

“The largest consolidation in the history of the Canadian telecommunications sector is based on illegal wholesale agreements,” said Andy Kaplan-Mirth, TechSavvy’s vice president of regulatory and carrier affairs. “The CRTC has exclusive jurisdiction over the matter, and should render its decision before the Minister makes his final decision on the merger.”

Negotiating the deal did not rely on natural market forces, TekSavvy complained, but on Rogers’ efforts to overcome regulatory hurdles for its acquisition.

“It is ironic that Canada’s telecom oligarchy—the most vicious opponents of CRTC wholesale regulation—has successfully argued to the competition tribunal that wholesale-based competition is the only viable solution to address competition concerns with this merger,” TechSavvy’s Vice President said. Insight and Engagement Peter Novak.

This could only happen because Minister Champagne declined CRTC’s 2019 decision to reduce their regulated wholesale rates in May 2022, the independent ISPs argued. TechSavvy states that Bell and Rogers successfully persuaded Minister Champagne to impose high, ruinous wholesale rates on independent ISPs, which the telecommunications companies then acquired and then fixed their own rates, thereby creating wholesale-based competition. It’s over.

a week ago, TechSavvy called on Minister Champagne to block the Rogers/Shaw/Videotron deal, citing similar competition concerns.

Minister ready to issue his final verdict after champagne Competition Bureau Appeal It is to be heard on 24 January, although its decision may be delayed until a parliamentary committee considers the issues during a hearing on 25 January.

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