TELUS today cleared the last hurdle in its plan to acquire Public Mobile when it received a “No Action Letter (NAL)” from Canada’s Competition Bureau. In its statement, the Competition Bureau explained that it had determined that “the proposed transaction is unlikely to substantially lessen or prevent competition in the sale of mobile wireless telecommunications services in Southern Ontario and Greater Montreal.”
“Our review concluded that remaining non-incumbents are likely to continue to provide effective competition in areas previously served by Public Mobile,”” said John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition. “”But as the vast majority of Canadian wireless subscribers are served by three national incumbent providers, the Bureau will continue to closely monitor the evolution of competition in Canada’s wireless telecommunications industry and take action where appropriate.”
The statement also indicates that TELUS will continue to offer Public Mobile’s CA$19 per month “Unlimited Talk” plan until at least the end of 2014. It will do so despite the fact that Public Mobile was about to discontinue the plan over “financial sustainability issues.” TELUS is planning to migrate the 280,000 or so Public Mobile customers over to its own network but it now appears that the process will take at least a year. It also appears that the Public Mobile brand will live on as long as the plan does.
TELUS has already received the necessary approval from Industry Canada, something that has proven far more elusive in its attempts to acquire similarly-beleaguered Mobilicity.