How Quebecor’s CEO Pierre Karl Péladeau is Advocating for Fair Competition in Canada’s Telecommunications Industry

2024-02-15 00:42:47

The president and CEO of Quebecor, Pierre Karl Péladeau, called on Wednesday for the government to act to prevent telecommunications giants from harming the development of Videotron and its subsidiary Freedom Mobile.

Appearing before the elected representatives of the Standing Committee on Industry and Technology at Parliament in Ottawa, the manager assured that his company has the capacity to stimulate competition in Canada in order to lower the prices of cell phone plans, provided to have the time and a regulatory boost to compete with Bell, Telus and Rogers.

Questioned by the deputies, Mr. Péladeau applauded “the desire and the will of Parliament” to ensure that the prices of cellular packages decrease. “But to get there, we need rules that will promote competition,” he continued.

“The constant opposition of national holders to any initiative aimed at promoting competition still remains problematic,” denounced Mr. Péladeau, evoking, for example, Bell Canada’s legal action to avoid having to open its fiber optic network to resellers.

“Freedom Effect”

Asked to highlight the advantages of competition, Pierre Karl Péladeau praised the “Freedom effect” while recalling that Statistics Canada estimates that between December 2022 and 2023, prices decreased by 26.8%. However, there is still work to be done, indicated the businessman, while roaming prices remain six times higher in Canada than in Europe.

Questioned by Bloc MP Jean-Denis Garon on the arguments that the leaders of the three Canadian telecommunications giants could put forward to justify higher prices, the president and CEO denounced their speech.

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“They always tell us the same thing. It’s bullshit. They tell us that the country is big and that it takes more turns. Everybody knows that. [Mais] when we compare ourselves, we see beyond any doubt that our prices are much higher. It’s a cash cow for them,” he replied with a passion noticed by some deputies.

Mr. Péladeau also maintained that he would welcome the establishment of other major national players in the industry. “We are fully for the competition. From our point of view, competition is a good thing. Competition drives innovation. […] Without competition, the economy is bad and it is not in the culture of our company,” he said.

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