Rogers trying to stop Verizon grabbing Canadian rivals - media

Fri Aug 2, 2013 8:15am EDT
 
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Aug 2 (Reuters) - Rogers Communications, Canada's largest wireless phone company, has crafted a plan to grab control of two smaller rivals to try to stop U.S. giant Verizon Communications Inc entering Canada, the Globe and Mail reported.

Verizon is in talks to buy two small Canadian wireless operators, Wind Mobile and Mobilicity, and Rogers is blocked from a counter offer because of government objections to mergers within the Canadian mobile sector.

Rogers instead might fund a purchase of a controlling stake in Wind by investment firm Birch Hill Equity Partners Management Inc, the newspaper reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.()

Toronto-based Birch Hill was also looking at Mobilicity, again with Rogers as its partner, the paper added.

Rogers would get access to Wind's spectrum to expand its high-speed wireless service, it said.

Shares of Canada's Big Three wireless companies - BCE Inc , Telus Corp and Rogers - tumbled last month on news that U.S. telecom giant Verizon was in talks with the two privately held mobile firms.

The big mobile companies, which control about 90 percent of the Canadian telecom market, argue that Verizon would unfairly benefit from rules designed to encourage competition if it enters Canada.