The Canadian Federal Court has officially rejected Telus’ challenge against Quebecor-owned Vidéotron. In September 2021, Telus and Bell filed a complaint against Videotron’s right to buy 5G spectrum in Western Canada.
Vidéotron purchased the rights for 3.5Hz in British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba during the summer of 2021. The deal was secured for $8.91 billion and served as the company’s formal expansion of its mobile services outside of Quebec while using the 5G spectrum.
Telus and Bell believe that Vidéotron does not meet the criteria required to do so. The company’s formal complaint states that Vidéotron was not already present on the western side of the country; therefore, it should not have the right to buy 5G spectrum. Additionally, the complaints claim there is a lack of transparency.
In October 2021, Telus lost the initial court case against Vidéotron. Since this junction, Bell withdrew its complaints. However, Telus persisted. The most recent ruling from the Canadian Federal Court now rejects the objection. It’s not yet known whether Telus will file an appeal to the court.
The Canadian Federal Court found that Vidéotron used an affiliate called Fibrenoire, which is registered with the CRTC as a facilities-based provider. Fibrenoire was providing commercial telecom services to the general public, as confirmed by Vidéotron’s application.
Quebecor has been stirring up Canada’s telecom industry recently. The company is in the running to acquire Shaw Communications’ Freedom Mobile as well. Though, the deal is contingent on how Shaw’s merger with Rogers Communications pans out. However, it does appear as though the likelihood of the deal passing went up as the Competition Bureau looks into the merger over competitive concerns.