07/31/2013 04:02 EDT | Updated 09/30/2013 05:12 EDT

James Moore: Wireless Industry Competition Still Needed


OTTAWA - New Industry Minister James Moore says Canada needs more competition in the wireless industry, reiterating support for a policy that the Harper government has been long promoting.

In a statement posted online Wednesday, Moore said the federal government wants all of Canada's regions to benefit from competition, adding that more progress must be made.

He said Ottawa will continue to stay the course by ensuring Canadians benefit from a competitive telecom industry, noting that more competition has meant more choices and lower prices for Canadians.

The statement repeats former industry minister Christian Paradis' position that there should be four competitive wireless players in every region of the country.

There have been reports that big U.S. carrier Verizon wants to enter the Canadian wireless market by purchasing small carrier Wind Mobile and was in talks to buy struggling company Mobilicity.

Foreign ownership restrictions for small wireless companies with less than 10 per cent of the wireless market have been loosened, which paves the way for Verizon and other foreign competitors to enter the cellphone market and buy up these players.

But Rogers (TSX:RCI.B), Telus (TSX:T) and Bell (TSX:BCE) have been complaining that they want a level playing field and should not be prevented from buying up these companies because of the rules.

Telus had recently been blocked by the government from acquiring Mobilicity.

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