The federal government in a surprise move has approved an agreement for Telus to acquire discount wireless carrier Public Mobile.
Previously, the government rejected Telus' efforts to acquire Mobilicity.
The main reason the government approved this deal—which still requires approval from the Competition Bureau—is that federal Industry Minister James Moore said Public's spectrum license is in the G-block frequency, which is different than the Advanced Wireless Services spectrum of the other startup carriers.
“Our government will continue to enforce the moratorium on the transfer of set-aside AWS spectrum to incumbents,” Moore said in the statement. “We will not approve any spectrum transfer request that decreases competition in our wireless sector to the detriment of consumers.”
Public Mobile has about 280,000 customers. Financial terms of the sale have not yet been disclosed.