Canadian CEOs, local telcos, object to wireless rule changes

|By:, SA News Editor

A group representing 150 Canadian CEOs has sent a letter to PM Stephen Harper asking him to reconsider new mobile investment rules they claim would give would-be entrant Verizon (VZ +0.6%) and unfair edge over incumbents BCE (BCE +0.3%), Rogers (RCI +1.1%), and Telus (TU +0.9%).

The incumbents have already been aggressively lobbying Ottawa to fix perceived loopholes in telecom policy they claim benefit outside giants, rather than smaller carriers.

Verizon, possibly motivated by the potential for huge roaming fee savings, is believed to be eying the purchase of struggling Canadian carriers Wind and Mobilicity, whom the incumbents can't acquire due to spectrum rules.

Big Red is also considering taking part in a Jan. '14 spectrum auction; the rule changes would allow it to buy more spectrum than the incumbents.