People who have more money than me like to throw it around. Take AT&T’s offer to buy pre-paid carrier Leap Wireless for US$1.19 billion.
That’s a lot of dough for an operator with $2.8 billion in debt. It makes one wonder what Verizon Communications is evaluating Wind Mobile at. On the other hand, Leap — better known for its Cricket brand — has 5 million subscribers, which is about 4.4 million more than Wind.
Ghose makes two points about this deal: First, it means for certain that AT&T isn’t coming north. It’s spent its acquisition money on Leap.
In Canada, where three carriers dominate, the Harper government is intent on ensuring there are at least four carriers in every region. That strategy, born from the decision to protect new entrants buying spectrum in 2008, has led to the emergence of Wind Mobile and Mobilicity in Ontario, Alberta and B.C., Public Mobile in Toronto and Montreal, cabelco Videotron adding wireless in Quebec and cableco Eastlink wireless in Nova Scotia.
One wonders, if Verizon — larger than Bell, Rogers and Telus put together — is successful in buying Wind if that rule will last. As Ghose points out, there could be a political backlash.