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Canada wireless sale nets C$5.27 billion; Quebecor makes splash

20
Feb
2014

By Randall Palmer and Alastair Sharp OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) – Canadian telecommunications companies paid a record C$5.27 billion ($4.78 billion) in an auction to secure wireless airwave licenses, the federal government said on Wednesday, as a new national challenger emerged from Quebec. To be quite frank, I thought this would be a much more sedate auction with people sitting on their hands, it turns out to be not so, said Iain Grant, managing director of telecom consultancy Seaboard Group. Market leader Rogers Communications Inc was by far the biggest spender, paying out C$3.29 billion, or more than 60 percent of the total, to grab a so-called prime block in every region of the country except its three remote northern territories. But it was Quebecor Incs Videotron that made the biggest splash at the auction, as the regional cable and wireless company expanded its reach outside its home base in the mostly French-speaking province of Quebec.

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