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Verizon in Canada: Unions Bash Idea, Consumers Welcome It (Sort of)

By Craig Galbraith
August 26, 2013 - News

**Editor's Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest mergers in Q2 2013.**

Verizon's potential entry into Canada's wireless market might be welcomed by consumers, but not so much by labor unions.

A new survey of Canadian wireless customers revealed that 57 percent favor giving U.S. carriers the right to operate there. The poll was conducted by Forum Research, Global News reported. More than two-thirds (68 percent) believe that the added competition would lead to reduced prices at Bell, Telus and Rogers.

The survey, however, revealed that nearly two-thirds (65 percent) don't believe the government should let Verizon use the networks of Canada's three major operators while it builds out infrastructure of its own. A law allowing that was passed some time ago, with the goal of helping smaller operators offer a service alternative to the so-called "big three." The majority of consumers aren't in favor of Verizon taking advantage of that.

Verizon has acknowledged looking into the possibility of entering Canada. Wind Mobile has been rumored as an acquisition target for the U.S. wireless giant.

It's no surprise that Telus, Rogers and Bell have all come out against Verizon moving in on their territory, but one of Canada's largest unions also railed against the possibility last week. In a press release, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, citing, for one, security issues.

"Canadians need to know that their government is reviewing Verizon's potential threat to national security, and what steps the U.S. company will have to take to mitigate any concerns," said CEP president Dave Coles, in a press release. "In their bid to woo Verizon, we hope the Harper government isn't ignoring its responsibility to do a security review."

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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