Rogers, Bell take ad battle to court

TORONTO — Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B) will take its rivalry with Bell Mobility to a B.C. courtroom Thursday in an attempt to stop its competitor from perpetuating claims that Rogers says are false and misleading.

TORONTO — Rogers Communications Inc. (TSX:RCI.B) will take its rivalry with Bell Mobility to a B.C. courtroom Thursday in an attempt to stop its competitor from perpetuating claims that Rogers says are false and misleading.

Rogers’ statement of claim says BCE Inc.’s (TSX:BCE) Bell Mobility cannot promote its network as being Canada’s largest, because it is shared with Telus Corp. (TSX:T).

Rogers says data suggesting Bell’s network is the most reliable and fastest is misleading because it was compiled before the network launched last month.

Rogers is also taking aim at Bell’s claims to have the “best” and “most powerful network” because it says those statements are not quantifiable.

Rogers launched legal action against Bell Canada and Bell Mobility on Dec.1 after losing its own battle against Telus over Rogers’ claim to be Canada’s most reliable network.

Rogers is asking the court to force Bell to remove the ads in an injunction similar to the one imposed on Rogers, which forces it to remove any advertising that claims it has Canada’s most reliable wireless network.

The order came after Telus asked a B.C. court to prevent Rogers from continuing to make the long-standing claim. The judge agreed with Telus’s argument that new networks put in place last month by it and Bell Canada have made it impossible for Rogers to claim superiority.

The judge ordered Rogers to remove its television, radio and newspaper ads, flyers and posters on Dec. 3, with a final deadline of Dec. 18.

A B.C. Appeal Court judge upheld the injunction Dec. 4.

The court battles between Canada’s three biggest wireless companies comes after Bell and Telus upgraded their wireless networks last month, and reflects the cutthroat competition that is beginning to emerge as all three companies compete to sell Apple Inc.’s (Nasdaq:AAPL) iPhone smartphone.

The three providers, which control about 90 per cent of Canada’s wireless market, are also preparing to fend off a new wave of rivals.