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Competition Bureau issues a ‘No Action Letter’ to TELUS

OTTAWA, November 29, 2013 — The Competition Bureau announced today that it has issued a No Action Letter (NAL) with respect to TELUS’ proposed acquisition of Public Mobile, after determining 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.

A NAL confirms that the Bureau has reviewed a specific proposed transaction and concluded that it will not, at this time, challenge that proposed transaction before the Competition Tribunal under the merger provisions of the Competition Act.

"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."

Over the course of its investigation, the Bureau reviewed information from TELUS and Public Mobile, as well as information from a number of other wireless providers, related to this and other recent Bureau matters in the wireless sector. Based on this information, the Bureau concluded that non-incumbents are likely to continue to provide effective competition in the areas served by Public Mobile, namely Southern Ontario and Greater Montreal.

As part of its review, the Bureau learned that Public Mobile was going to discontinue its $19/month "Unlimited Talk" plan due to financial sustainability issues. The Commissioner was concerned that the proposed transaction could accelerate the timing of the elimination of the plan. This concern was addressed as in the course of the Bureau’s review, TELUS advised the Bureau that it will continue to offer, under the Public Mobile brand, a $19/month "Unlimited Talk" plan until at least the end of 2014, on substantially the same terms as Public Mobile’s current $19/month "Unlimited Talk" plan.

For additional information on the Bureau’s review of this transaction, please consult the Position Statement.

The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

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