Verizon reportedly makes preliminary bid for Canadian carrier Wind MobileAlex Wagner - Deputy Managing Editor, News Desk
One of the biggest stories in the wireless world recently has been Verizon's possible move into Canada. Rumors claimed earlier this month that Verizon Communications is interested in acquiring a small Canadian carrier like Mobility or Wind Mobile, and just a couple of days later, Verizon confirmed that it was "looking at the opportunity" of entering the Canadian wireless market. Now some more details on Verizon's recent moves have surfaced, included information on a possible offer that's been made.
A Reuters source claims that Verizon has made a preliminary offer between $600 million and $800 million for Wind Mobile, a small Canadian carrier that has around 600,000 subscribers. Verizon is also said to be in talks with Mobilicity, another small Canadian operator, and one Wall Street Journal tipster says that Verizon has signed a nondisclosure agreement with the carrier as part of its prep for negotiations.
While it remains to be seen whether or not Verizon will actually make a move to the North, there are a few incentives for it to do so. Not only would entering the Canadian market give Verizon a new way to grow its revenue, such a decision would likely be met with little resistance from the Canadian government, which would like to increase wireless competition in Canada but doesn't want one of the country's major operators to snap up a smaller player.
Moving up to Canada would also allow Verizon to enter an upcoming 700MHz spectrum auction, giving it the opportunity to snap up some airwaves that are similar to the ones that it already owns in the U.S. The auction is set to kick off on January 14, but the rules of the auction state that new entrants will need to make announce their intent to bid by September 17, giving Verizon a couple more months to get a deal done.