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BCE open to liberalized foreign ownership in communications industry

Michael Sabia, BCE Inc.'s chief executive officer, today presented the company's position on foreign ownership rule...


February 18, 2003  


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Michael Sabia, BCE Inc.’s chief executive officer, today presented the company’s position on foreign ownership rules governing communications companies to the standing committee on Industry, Science and Technology.

“Allowing for greater flow of capital is always a positive move," he said. "Indeed we believe the complete removal of ownership restrictions is likely inevitable given the globalization of the world’s economies.

“The focus on facilities-based competition has been key in enabling Canada to be one of the few countries in the world which is successfully managing the transition from a monopoly environment to a competitive one,” he said.

“As we move forward, we need to sustain policies that build strength and real competition among strong competitors. That, more than foreign ownership rules, will encourage continued investment.”

Telcos compete not just with other telcos, but with cable companies, who in turn, compete with satellite companies, he said.

Sabia said the issues before the committee are extremely complex and suggested that policy changes in this area “be predictable with discretion kept to a minimum to avoid uncertainty.”

He also called for non-discriminatory treatment of all players.


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