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Canada: BCE to Buy Manitoba Telecom for $2.5 Billion in Cash

 |  May 2, 2016

BCE Canada’s biggest telecommunications company, agreed to buy Manitoba Telecom Services $2.5 billion in cash and stock, extending its presence westward and further consolidating the country’s wireless market.

The deal adds a company with C$1 billion in annual revenue and extends BCE’s presence into central Canada, where rivals Telus Corp. and Rogers Communications Inc. currently hold more sway. BCE bought Bell Aliant Inc. for C$3.7 billion in 2014 and took over Astral Media Inc. in 2012, giving it more cash flow and the ability to keep increasing its dividend.

The proposed purchase of Winnipeg-based MTS also presents the first major test of the new Canadian government’s approach to competition in the telecommunications industry. The previous Conservative government, which lost power to Justin Trudeau’s Liberals last year, had fought intensely to strengthen smaller players like Manitoba Telecom, Mobilicity and Wind Mobile by trying to establish four strong competitors in each market. It blocked repeated attempts by Telus to buy Mobilicity and sold wireless spectrum to smaller players at a subsidized price.

Full Content: Huffington Post

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