VANCOUVER - The Fraser Institute is calling on the federal government to remove restrictions on foreign ownership of telecommunications companies in Canada.
In a new study, the Vancouver-based think-tank says if Ottawa wants to provide Canadians with more choice and competition in the wireless marketplace, it should apply the same rules to both domestic and foreign players operating in Canada.
Among other things, it slams the government's plan to place restrictions on domestic telecommunications companies in a upcoming auction of wireless spectrum aimed at encouraging new entrants in the market place.
The study's author, Steven Globerman, a senior fellow and a professor of international business at Western Washington University, says the goal of achieving and maintaining a competitive market is not the same as having a minimum number of competing firms.
He says that by setting up rules that handicap the three large Canadian telecoms and favour small or new players in the marketplace, the federal government is effectively subsidizing new entrants and promoting inefficient competition.