Verizon testing Canadian telecom waters

The chief financial officer of Verizon Communications Inc. today confirmed reports that the New York-based carrier intends to enter Canada’s wireless market

Although Wind Mobile was earlier reported as a potential takeover target, Fran Shammo, Verizon CFO, did not name any specific Canadian carrier that might be in his company’s sights.

Verizon is merely “looking at the opportunity” and just “dipping our toe in the water,” he told the Wall Street Journal today.

He also said that unspecified regulatory issues could be hurdled.

A Verizon spokesperson also told the Globe and Mail that the company is constantly evaluating business opportunities and that Canada is “one of many.”


Telus tears up offer to Mobilicity
Wind deal bogged down by security issues

Earlier, the Globe and Mail reported that Verizon held exploratory talks with Wind Mobile investors. The discussions are still in their early stages, the paper said. Vodafone is reported to have also considered Mobilicity.

Verizon Communications owns 55 per cent of Verizon Wireless. Vodafone Group PLC of Britain owns 45 per cent of the company.

Verizon previously held a 20 per cent interest in Telus Corp., but sold back the share to the company in 2004.

Bogged-down acquisition plans concerning new wireless entrants have been flying around in recent weeks. Last week, Telus withdrew its proposed $280-million offer for troubled alternative carrier, Mobilicity.

Also last week, efforts by Amsterdam-based VimpelCom Ltd. to invest in Wind Mobile were reported to have been bogged down by security concerns raised by Canadian officials.

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Nestor E. Arellano
Nestor E. Arellano
Toronto-based journalist specializing in technology and business news. Blogs and tweets on the latest tech trends and gadgets.

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