Telus challenges Ottawa's wireless policy in court

Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:02pm EDT
 
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By Euan Rocha and Alastair Sharp

TORONTO (Reuters) - Telus Corp T.TO, one of Canada's big three wireless companies, has taken the government to court to challenge policies aimed at encouraging more competition.

Telus, second-largest provider of wireless service in Canada, late on Monday sought a judicial review in federal court in Ottawa over government restrictions on the sale of licenses to use airwaves.

Legal experts were skeptical that a review would succeed or deter the Conservative Party government from trying to limit the market dominance of the three largest companies, Telus, Rogers Communications Inc RCIb.TO and BCE Inc BCE.TO.

"I assume Telus thinks they can win this case, but I think this is going to be a very tough case for them to win," said a lawyer specializing in the telecom policy, who asked not to be identified to protect business dealings. "I don't see this case as being much of a game changer."

A spokesman for Industry Minister James Moore on Tuesday said the government was aware of Telus's challenge, but he declined to comment because the matter was before the courts.

BATTLE OVER WIRELESS SPECTRUM

Telus's move is the latest salvo fired by the big wireless players against the government, whose efforts to encourage competition have piqued the interest of U.S. telecom giant Verizon Communications (VZ.N: Quote).

In June, the government effectively foiled a C$380 million ($370 million) bid from Telus for struggling Canadian wireless provider Mobilicity by blocking the transfer of the start-up's spectrum licenses to Telus.   Continued...