SaskTel preps for Bell takeover of MTS

Saskatchewan’s provincially owned telecommunications company says it has strategies to address the risk

REGINA — Saskatchewan’s provincially owned telecommunications company says it has strategies to address the risk posed by Bell Media’s proposed takeover of Manitoba Telecom Services.

SaskTel says the $3.9 billion MTS (TSX:MBT) and Bell (TSX:BCE) deal — if approved — represents regulatory, competitive and financial risks for SaskTel. But the company says most of the risks existed before the deal and have already been assessed.

“SaskTel is a competitive regional carrier and it will need to remain competitive going forward in the face of a rapidly changing industry. The BCE/MTS deal does not change this fundamental situation although it heightens the risks,” SaskTel said in a document released Monday.

The report was SaskTel’s response to an assessment released in June which said the takeover poses serious risks to SaskTel.

The assessment said the reduced number of carriers in Manitoba could lead the federal government to create incentives for additional wireless competition. Such measures could reduce costs for competitors and increase costs or restrict expansion for SaskTel, it said.

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