Freedom Mobile

Globalive signs network sharing deal with Telus, boosting Freedom Mobile’s offering

Admitted to the Canadian press

Date: May 19, 2022 10:07AM EST

Last update Thursday, May 19, 2022 3:19PM EST

TORONTO – Globalive Capital said it has signed a network and spectrum sharing agreement with Telus Corp. , in an effort to strengthen its offer to purchase Freedom Mobile.

Freedom is for sale as a result of a Rogers Communications Inc. worth $26 billion to buy Shaw Communications Inc. , the current owner of Freedom.

The Freedom sale is expected to be a condition of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s approval of that deal, and is seen as the best way to maintain competition in the wireless space while allowing the merger to move forward.

However, the deal faces opposition from the Competition Bureau, which argues that the merger should not go ahead even if Freedom Mobile changes hands.

On May 9, the regulator said the sale of Freedom Mobile would fail to add competition to the telecommunications sector, arguing that the new owners were “likely to provide less effective financial, administrative, technical or other forms of support,” making it difficult for the company to Transportation Confront Rogers and BCE Inc. and Telus.

In court documents, the watchdog also said the proposed deal between Rogers and Shaw would undo more than a decade of regulatory efforts to increase competition in the telecoms sector.

Globalive’s agreement is conditional on its successful acquisition of Freedom Mobile.

Globalive founder and CEO Anthony Lacavera said his company’s ownership of Freedom would eventually lower mobile phone bills and provide customers with “the same network experience” as customers of major Canadian carriers.

La Cavira also said he would continue investing in Freedom and building the network if the carrier’s Globalive bid was successful.

“We plan to go ahead and acquire more spectrum in upcoming auctions which we will later share in a spectrum and network sharing agreement with Telus and further expand Freedom Network capabilities,” he said in an interview.

La Cavira added that his offer would address the competition bureau’s concerns regarding the Freedom sale and the Rogers-Show deal in general.

Meanwhile, Carleton University professor Dwayne Winske doesn’t think the arrangement will be enough to satisfy the competition bureau.

“I don’t see the concerns raised by the competition office in its application to the competition court being offset by this,” he said in an interview.

Winseck said he’s also skeptical of the agreement because he believes it conflicts with Telus’ own business interests and efforts by major carriers over the years to essentially limit the ability of independent mobile operators to develop as viable competitors.

“We are being asked to accept the idea that Telus is somehow going to smash the character here and allow Freedom to become a very formidable player in that it will have the resources and access to compete with Telus and Rogers and Bell on the basis of price, on the availability of access and the amount of data allowed, and I cannot Seeing that happen.”

He said Telus will “keep Freedom on a tight leash” and won’t allow it to challenge it over pricing or data volumes allowed.

Winseck added that Telus already has a network sharing agreement with Bell, which could further complicate the Globalive deal, and is likely to be brought up in the discussion.

In addition to Globalive, Quebecor Inc. express interest in the carrier. Meanwhile, Xplornet Communications Inc. was introduced. of rural internet to regulators as a potential buyer.

La Cavira said he would like to see a US-based carrier like T-Mobile step in, if Globalive isn’t the successful bidder.

Freedom Mobile, formerly known as Wind Mobile, was founded by Lacavera in 2008. After financial problems and challenges of foreign ownership, Wind Mobile was sold to Shaw in 2016 and underwent a rebranding.

This report was first published by The Canadian Press on May 19, 2022.

– With files from Craig Wong

2022-05-19 14:07:30

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