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Canada eases limits for foreign shareholders
16 March 2012
Canadian government to reserve spectrum for small operators and allow foreign ownership
Canada is easing foreign ownership restrictions and setting aside new spectrum for small operators. Christian Paradis, industry minister of Canada, told Bloomberg the country is removing an investment barrier by allowing foreign firms to acquire operators holding less than 10% market share in terms of revenue. This move will help such operators expand market share without having to acquire rivals or merge with them.
At the same time the government will reserve 25% of spectrum in the 700 megahertz auction in 2013 for smaller companies, by limiting the amount Bell Canada, Rogers and Telus can buy to 75%. A further auction, of spectrum in the 2.5 gigahertz band, is due for 2014.
Anthony Lacavera, chairman of Globalive Holdings, which operates VimpelCom-backed Wind in Canada, was sceptical. He told Bloomberg: “The way those frequency blocks are broken down, new entrants are just not going to be able to acquire sufficient spectrum.” GTB
Further reading from Global Telecoms Business:
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