Xplornet to enter Manitoba cell market as BCE-MTS deal wins Ottawa's approval

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BCE Inc.’s acquiring of Manitoba Telecom Services has been given the green light by the federal direction, but with conditions aimed at boosting Xplornet Communications Inc. as a regional opponent in the mobile wireless market in Manitoba.

In a release issued Wednesday, the federal Championship Bureau said it has agreed, after a nine-month investigation, to BCE’s $3.1-billion grapple with for MTS, that will see BCE sell some wireless spectrum to Xplornet, along with six retail stow aways and 24,700 subscribers.

The Competition Bureau has also ordered BCE to give Xplornet «facilitated access» to its cell towers in Manitoba for five years, mobile drifting services and help with buying handsets to help it become the fourth virtuoso in the market, along with Bell, Telus and Rogers.

«We believe there is an possibility to provide more value to consumers in Manitoba,» said Allison Lenehan, the president and CEO of Xplornet, a coterie that currently provides rural broadband internet services in sides of Canada, including Manitoba.

Some customers sold to Telus 

As go away of the MTS takeover, BCE has also agreed to follow through on a deal reached wear year to sell 13 MTS dealer locations and about a quarter of the MTS cellular undertake customers to Telus Corp. for about $300 million.

«Bell’s understanding large to acquire MTS and the expansion of Xplornet into the Manitoba market will consequence in more competition, which means more choice and competitive values for all Manitobans,» Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Increment, said in a release.

In announcing the approval of the BCE-MTS deal with the fettles, the Competition Bureau cautioned that it had found that the loss of MTS wish likely cause prices in Manitoba rise toward levels distinguished in other regions that lacked a strong regional competitor.

The struggle watchdog pointed out that earlier this month Bell was contribution a 5GB plan in Ontario for $105, while the same plan was going for $60 in Manitoba.

«While today’s agree agreement is expected to address my concerns with the merger, we will proceed to keep a close watch on competition in Manitoba and across Canada in the expressive wireless services market,» John Pecman, the commisioner of competition, bruit about in a statement

«Given the findings of our review, any future potential mergers by Canada’s three largest transportable wireless providers, Bell, Rogers and Tellus can expect to receive a close by nearly examination by the bureau,» Pecman said.

Open Media, a consumer advocacy coterie, criticized the approval of the takeover deal saying it doesn’t help striving.

«Although the Competition Bureau mandated that Bell sell a unexaggerated number of subscribers, stores, and spectrum to Xplornet, it will take years for Xplornet to on a meaningful hold in Manitoba’s wireless market,» Open Media spokesman David Christopher articulate in a statement

Analysts had raised the possibility that Shaw Communications weight enter the Manitoba cellular market. Shaw bought Wind Flexible last year.

«Overall, we view the deal as marginally positive for BCE and TELUS because flow estimates did not include the deal, and slightly negative for [Shaw] as investors clout have anticipated it potentially becoming the fourth player in Manitoba to a certain extent than Xplornet,» Maher Yaghi of Desjardins Capital Market annulled in a commentary.

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