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Ontario court judge approves Rogers-Mobilicity wireless takeover deal

TORONTO - An Ontario court has given its OK to a deal that will see Rogers Communications purchase Mobilicity.Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) will also sell some spectrum to Wind Mobile, which has emerged as one of the leading challengers to Canada's three biggest wireless companies.Rogers says Industry Canada has also approved its takeover offer for Mobilicity but still requires approval by the Competition Bureau."The transaction with Rogers provides the best possible outcome for Mobilicity's customers, dealers and employees," Mobilicity president Anthony Booth said in a statement."Rogers ensures certainty of service for Mobilicity customers, provides a great network, national coverage and high quality products and services. At the same time, Mobilicity employees will have the opportunity to work at a great Canadian company in Rogers."Court documents said the Mobilicity offer was worth a total of $465-million but the Rogers announcement said the purchase price was $440 million.In addition, Rogers said it would pay $100 million to Shaw, in addition to previous downpayments, to complete a previously announced purchase of spectrum that the Calgary-based company hasn't used for a wireless business.Rogers chief executive Guy Laurence said the company "got the spectrum we needed" while working with the government to put unused spectrum to work.Mobilicity is in five urban markets — Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.Wind Mobile also competes in those cities and currently has about 800,000 customers, which is about one-tenth the subscriber base of any of the big three carriers — Rogers, Telus and BCE's Bell (TSX:BCE).A Telus spokesman said the company wouldn't comment Wednesday on the announcements.The federal government had blocked Telus over concerns that one of Canada's three large national carriers would acquire wireless spectrum that had been set aside for newer companies, including Mobilicity.A sworn statement by William Aziz, who has been overseeing Mobilicity's restructuring since April 2013, said it's his under standing "that Industry Canada no longer has the same concerns it once did about 'undue spectrum concentration' among certain wireless carriers in Canada."Aziz also says in an affadavit filed with the court that the directors of Mobilicity's holding company negotiated with competing bidders for about two weeks before deciding on Tuesday to accept the Rogers offer.Rogers said Wednesday that the $440 million purchase price will be offset by tax losses valued at about $175 million that the company will acquire.

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