In the great wireless war, there are those who believe allowing Verizon into Canada would threaten Canadian jobs and introduce a misbehaving corporate citizen to the country.
And then there are those who just want to see more competition to the Big Three’s wireless oligopoly, and if it takes a company as big and powerful as Verizon to make that happen, so be it.
But according to Moody’s Investor Service, not even Verizon would have it easy breaking the Big Three’s stranglehold on Canada’s wireless market.
In a report that illustrates just how entrenched their market position is, the global credit rating agency said the incumbent wireless companies would probably be able to hold off an attempt by a large foreign company to muscle into the Canadian market.
Among the reasons for this: The local companies can offer “bundles” — wireless service along with home phone, internet and cable or satellite TV. Due to foreign ownership restrictions and saturation of those TV and internet and markets, it would be almost impossible for a foreign player to match the local carriers’ bundled deals.
Moody’s also said it believes Canada’s densely-populated urban wireless markets are likely already saturated. A new player would have to invest into expensive rural infrastructure to pick up available market share.
"Whatever the outcome of Verizon's interest, we believe any foreign competitor would have a difficult time gaining traction in the Canadian wireless market," Moody’s Senior Vice President Bill Wolfe said in a statement.
"The three major incumbents — Bell Canada, Rogers Communications and TELUS Corp. — have built out some of the most sophisticated networks in the world, and would prove formidable competitors."
The agency also doubts that Verizon’s arrival would lead to a price war. It estimates development costs would be too high for a new company to offer prices much lower than the existing players.
That goes against the Harper government’s insistence that a fourth major wireless company is the way to reduce wireless prices for consumers.
So what if Verizon bought some of the existing small wireless players, like Wind Mobile (for which it has reportedly placed a $700-million bid), or Mobilicity? That probably won’t work, either, Moody’s says.
“The three Canadian wireless new entrants — Wind Mobile, Mobilicity and Public Mobile — serve less than 10 per cent of the market and have limited network infrastructure.”
The Big Three have been on an aggressive campaign to keep Verizon from coming to Canada under rules that favour new market entrants. With less than 10 per cent market share in Canada, a Verizon-owned company would be allowed to bid on more wireless spectrum in an upcoming auction than the established local players.
The Big Three are calling on the government to rescind the spectrum rules and create “a level playing field” for all wireless companies.
But many consumer advocates say the “level playing field” argument is misleading, because of the advantaged position the Big Three already enjoy.
New wireless companies “won’t see any sort of level playing field against the Big Three for years to come, if ever,” tech blogger Peter Nowak wrote Friday.
Nowak listed off numerous reasons why a “level playing field” in wireless rules would mean the continued dominance of the Big Three, including the fact they already control the lion’s share of spectrum available for wireless, and — similar to Moody’s point about bundling — they have “media integration.”
“With Bell and Rogers owning everything from magazines, TV channels and sports teams, there’s an awful lot of of bonus content they can throw at wireless subscribers,” Nowak wrote. “The recently launched Bell TV app, which gives the company’s customers special access to programming, is a case in point. Yet another untouchable feature for new entrants, big or small.”
Verizon’s major advantage, if it has one, is that it is four times as large as Canada’s Big Three wireless companies combined. But if Moody’s and Nowak are right, even this may not be enough to break the dominance of Bell, Rogers and Telus.
Sarah Polley - $100,000
The former child star of Anne of Avonlea can earn millions making movies, but 2012 was a slow year for her, Maclean's reports. Busy raising a child, Polley likely only earned $100,000 in the form of an award for her documentary, Stories We Tell. NOTE: An earlier version of this slideshow identified Polley as the child star of Anne of Green Gables. We regret the error.
Rob Ford - $172,803
The mayor of Canada's largest city doesn't draw the largest mayoral salary. Calgary's Naheed Nenshi pulled in $201,839, while Mississauga's legendary Hazel McCallion pulled in $187,057.
Alison Redford - $211,000
The premier of Alberta raked in the largest salary of any premier last year. Ontario's Kathleen Wynne comes in secod, with a salary of $209,272. The range of premiers' salaries is pretty large; at the bottom end, Prince Edward Island's Joe Ghiz took in $136,438, and Darrell Pasloski, premier of Nunavut, took in only $87,631.
Justin Trudeau - $245,000
The man who would be prime minister earns $160,200 as a Member of Parliament, plus a $54,000 stipend for leading the Liberal Party. Add to that dividends from investments his father, Pierre, left him, plus book royalties and speaking engagement fees (which he has vowed not to charge anymore), and you get about $245,000 in total.
Don Cherry - $800,000.
Canada's highest profile hockey commentator took in nearly twice what his Hockey Night in Canada partner, Ron MacLean, earned -- $429,000.
Carly Rae Jepsen - $2 million
The former Canadian Idol contestant's "Call Me Maybe" was a breakout hit last summer, earning Jepsen millions in royalties.
Coco Rocha - $2 million
The Toronto-born supermodel has made money from campaigns for Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, The Gap, Versace, and countless others, but is also making money off hosting Oxygen network's reality show The Face.
Ellen Page - $5 million per picture
The Halifax-born actress has seen her earnings jump considerably since she left Trailer Park Boys to make movies like Inception and X-Men: The Last Stand.
Jim Carrey - $5 million
Carrey used to command as much as $25 million per movie back in the day, i.e. two decades ago. How far the elastic-faced have fallen.
Seth Rogen - $8 million per movie
The Vancouver native and star of Superbad and Pineapple Express charges much less to appear in a Canadian movie - $250,000.
Ryan Gosling - up to $10 million per movie
The Toronto native has seen some of his recent movies -- Crazy, Stupid Love and Drive -- make decent dough, and the actor is now reportedly earning in the seven figures. Not bad for a guy who's mostly made art-house films.
Alex Trebek - $10 million per season
When he's not hosting the National Geographic Bee or <a href="http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Trebek--I-Left-My-Cash-in-San-Francisco-126281588.html" target="_blank">chasing down robbers in San Francisco hotel rooms</a>, Alex Trebek takes in a hefty annual sum for hosting Jeopardy, something he's done for 29 years at this point.
Sidney Crosby - $12 million
The Pittsurgh Penguins captain isn't actually the best-paid player in the NHL. Nashville Predators defenceman Shea Weber will take home $14 million this year, Macleans reports, while Tampa Bay's Vincent Lecavalier will earn $17.7 million.
Michael Buble - $37 million
With eight albums now under his belt, the Burnaby-born crooner is now raking in serious bucks in royalties.
Justin Bieber - $55 million
Bieber's ego appears to have caught up with his earnings this year. He was widely accused of disrespecting his fans after <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/05/justin-bieber-late-o2-arena_n_2810393.html" target="_blank">showing up late to a London show</a>, and got some nasty publicity with <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/30/justin-bieber-drugs-tour-bus_n_3674035.html" target="_blank">a drug bust on his tour bus</a>. But that didn't stop the 19-year-old from from raking in some seriously big bucks.
Also on HuffPost:
THE HIGHEST-PAID CELEBRITIES
5. Dr. Dre
Estimated earnings: $110 million Notable project: Beats by Dr. Dre headphones
4. Jerry Bruckheimer
Estimated earnings: $115 million Notable project: Director, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"
3. Steven Spielberg
Estimated earnings: $130 million Notable project: Co-founder of DreamWorks
2. Michael Bay
Estimated earnings: $160 million Notable project: Director, <em>Transformers: Dark of the Moon</em>
1. Oprah Winfrey
Estimated earnings: $165 million Notable Project: Producer behind "The Dr. Oz Show," "Dr. Phil" and "Rachael Ray"