Rogers And Shaw Want To Sell Freedom Mobile To Quebecor

News surfaced last night that Rogers and Shaw have cut a deal with Quebecor to sell the latter Freedom Mobile so that it hopefully the Canadian Government will approve the merger between Rogers and Shaw:

Under the terms of the Divestiture Agreement, Quebecor has agreed to buy Freedom on a cash-free, debt-free basis at an enterprise value of C$2.85 billion, expanding Quebecor’s wireless operations nationally. The Divestiture Agreement provides for the sale of all of Freedom branded wireless and Internet customers as well as all of Freedom’s infrastructure, spectrum and retail locations. It also includes a long-term undertaking by Shaw and Rogers to provide Quebecor transport services (including backhaul and backbone) and roaming services. The parties will work expeditiously and in good faith to finalize definitive documentation.

As Freedom’s new owner, Quebecor will bring a strong operational track record, a history of competing vigorously and successfully in telecommunications services, including its wireless brands in Quebec and Eastern Ontario, and significant financial and spectrum resources to enable an expedient path to the next evolution of 5G technology for Freedom.

“Our agreement with Quebecor to divest Freedom is a critical step towards completing our proposed merger with Shaw. We strongly believe the divestiture will meet the Government of Canada’s objective of a strong and sustainable fourth wireless services provider,” said Tony Staffieri, President and CEO of Rogers. “This agreement between proven cable and wireless companies will ensure the continuation of a highly competitive market with robust future investments in Canada’s world class networks. We look forward to securing the outstanding regulatory approvals for our merger with Shaw so that we can deliver significant long-term benefits to Canadian consumers, businesses and the economy.”

I’m not so sure about that. While Quebecor has made life miserable for Rogers, Bell, and Telus within the province of Quebec, I seriously doubt that they’d be willing to do the same thing outside of Quebec. Which means that consumers won’t benefit. In my opinion, what really needed to happen is that Freedom Mobile needed to sold to a company who would commit to lowering prices and committing to competing against the big three telcos. That didn’t happen here and Canadians lose as a result.

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