Globalive exception to CRTC rules on foreign ownership is not appropriate, says John Laskin in Law Times

Globalive Appeal Heads to Court

April 18, 2011

A battle over wireless upstart Globalive Communication's ability to meet ownership and control requirements under the Telecommunications Act is headed to the Federal Court of Appeal.

Globalive was able to go ahead with its plans to launch Wind Mobile when Cabinet overruled the CRTC. But Public Mobile, another company that succeeded in the 2008 auctioning of radio frequency spectrum, asked the Federal Court to overturn Cabinet's decision, saying the government had cast aside foreign ownership rules in coming to its decision.

John Laskin, who represented Public Mobile at the Federal Court, says his client initially expressed its opinion that it would be improper to set aside the CRTC's decision.

"All of the telecommunications common carriers, all of the wireless companies, had in effect played by the same rules, and those rules had been applied by the CRTC," he says. "So to make an exception in the case of Globalive would not be appropriate."

The Federal Court seemed to agree, ruling that Cabinet made legal errors in varying the CRTC's decision:

  • The court said the Telecommunications Act does not contain any policy objective urging foreign investment, something Cabinet had referenced in its rationale for the variance.
  • The court also ruled that Cabinet was unable to include the caveat in its ruling that its decision did not apply to other common carriers.

 

Read the full article here.

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