Posted by David Christopher on Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 11:12
This article was originally published at Rabble.ca
If you're a Canadian and you own a cell phone, you probably don't need an official report to tell you that you're paying way over the odds.
A glance at your monthly phone bill should be more than enough to remind you that Canadians really do pay some of the highest prices in the industrialized world for this basic necessity of modern day life.
Rogers has gobbled up troubled small carrier Mobilicity and the federal government is declaring it a victory for consumers.
Almost two years ago, Ottawa launched a glitzy $9-million ad campaign to let Canadians know it was fighting for their right to cheaper cellphone prices and more choice.
But with rising prices for some plans and now one fewer competitor in the market, critics argue the government is actually losing the battle.
"Canadians may be scratching their heads over why the government just approved a deal that will ultimately mean less choice and higher prices for Canadian cellphone subscribers, despite promises to the contrary," Josh Tabish of telecom critic Open Media said in a statement.
Posted by Soledad Vega on Wednesday, June 24, 2015 - 12:40
The new Rogers/Mobilicity deal will mean less choice and therefore higher prices.
Article by Christine Dobby for The Globe and Mail
While Mobilicity has finally found a buyer – selling to Rogers Communications Inc. for $465-million after more than two years in legal and financial limbo – Wind Mobile Corp. will also benefit from the deal through a significant increase in its spectrum holdings.
Rogers $440 million takeover of Mobilicity will mean fewer choices for Canadian cell phone subscribers when wireless prices are already increasing at 3 times the rate of inflation
Update: Since this release was issued Industry Canada has released additional details about the Rogers/Mobilicity deal, which can be found here. OpenMedia has updated this release and statement with consideration of these new details. [June 24, 2015: 12:22PM pst]
June 24, 2015 – Mobilicity has accepted a $440 million takeover from Rogers, Inc., according to documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court. The deal, approved by Industry Canada, appears to conflict with the government’s promises to increase mobile provider choice and affordability. The deal will see some of Mobilicity’s AWS-1 spectrum acquired by Wind Mobile, while a substantial amount of spectrum previously set aside for new entrants will go to Rogers.
Community-backed OpenMedia prefers for all spectrum set aside for new entrants to remain outside of the hands of the Big Three. The government previously promised it would not approve any spectrum transfers that decrease competition in the wireless market. However, the takeover still requires approval from the Competition Bureau. Responding to today’s news, OpenMedia Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish had this to say:
Reports over weekend suggest government is poised to allow Rogers and Telus to acquire Mobilicity’s valuable wireless spectrum, despite promises it would be set aside for affordable, independent providers
June 22, 2015: Mobilicity’s employees and founder are calling for government action to ensure their business can continue as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), even if their valuable wireless spectrum is acquired by other operators. Community-backed OpenMedia, which is running a sustained campaign for lower wireless prices, insists any deal must ensure that Canadians’ wireless choices are not further reduced.
The call comes following media reports over the weekend that the government is preparing to allow Rogers and Telus to acquire Mobilicity’s spectrum, despite previous promises that it would be kept out of the Big Three’s hands. Reacting to today’s call from Mobilicity employees, OpenMedia Campaigns Manager Josh Tabish had this to say:
“Ensuring that affordable providers like Mobilicity can continue to offer services is important for Canadians, who for years have been paying some of the highest prices in the industrialized world. Canadians would be disappointed to see Mobilicity’s spectrum handed back to the Big Three given the government’s repeated promises to lower prices and improve choice.”