Following EBOX last February, Bell acquired another large independent telecommunications provider, Toronto-based Distributel.
Posted at 5:31 p.m
Updated at 6:49 p.m
The transaction, for an undisclosed amount that is subject to regulatory approval, will also allow Bell to acquire the Primus and ThinkTel brands, which were owned by Distributel.
In a press release, it was assured that Distributel will continue to operate independently under the direction of Matt Stein, the Chief Executive Officer. He was also, until recently, President of Canadian Competitive Network Operators (CRNO), which represents 24 independent operators. He was particularly critical of recent decisions by the Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), particularly the May 2021 one that overturned a significant drop in wholesale internet prices. “Most independent companies just hang on and have had to pass the increase on to their customers and their market share has fallen sharply,” he told AFP. The press last May.
“With this announcement, Distributel is better positioned to compete and deliver on its decades-long commitment to bringing choice and affordability to Canadians coast-to-coast,” he said in a press release this Friday. With a primary presence in Quebec and Ontario, Distributel has been providing a wide range of telecommunications services, ranging from personal Internet to mobile and cable television, since 1988.
The company hasn’t provided data on its customer count since 2015, when it reported 200,000.
“Distributel is a successful business with experienced industry talent and we are delighted to welcome them to the Bell family of companies,” said Blaik Kirby, Group President, Consumer Market and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). Within Bell, Distributel will enhance its innovative services for consumers and small and medium-sized businesses, leveraging Bell’s resources and technology. »
This is the third acquisition of a major independent operator by a major telecoms company in Canada, following Quebecor’s VMedia last July and Bell’s EBOX in February.
The Federal Minister for Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, assured on Twitter that he was only informed about this new acquisition by Bell “at the end of the day”. “I am confident that the Competitions Office will ensure that this transaction protects affordability and the competitive interests of Canadians,” he wrote.