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Verizon out, but small victory in a losing war

Verizon Communications Inc. September decision not to enter Canada’s wireless market could be no more than a small battle victory in a losing war for the country’s three telecommunications companies, Toronto competition lawyer Jeremy Richler tells Law Times.

Richler says in the article that the big three companies attracted few friends in the process among Canadian consumers who already feel overcharged and underserved by the domestic giants that control more than 90 per cent of the market.

“I think in the short term, it leaves the federal government in a bit of a bind but down the road not much has changed,” Richler tells Law Times.

“Verizon is not a buyer, but that just means someone else will pick up the slack later. Bell, Telus, and Rogers might have done well for now but they’re only fuelling resentment in the long run. The Conservatives are finding they can be bullish about them and not lose out in the polls.

“It may be a good thing that Verizon has left since it didn’t seem so much that people wanted Verizon as they wanted competition,” he says in the article.

Looser restrictions on foreign companies entering the wireless market in the future could be on the horizon, Richler says in the article, as the government attempts to bring in more carriers but warns caution is needed.

“You don’t want to give away the store,” he says. “But if you don’t make certain changes, it’s going to be damaging to consumers.”

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