Quebecor files complaint with Competition Bureau against partnership plans between Loblaw and Glentel

Quebecor has filed a complaint with the Competition Bureau regarding an agreement between Loblaw and wireless carriers Bell and Rogers, through their joint venture Glentel, that would give them exclusive selling rights at The Mobile Shop. This agreement would shut Freedom Mobile out of 180 Loblaw-owned grocery stores and further strengthen the stranglehold of the telecom oligopoly which, based on available data, would henceforth control 62.5% of all third-party retailers in the Canadian wireless industry.


Quebecor is confident that the Competition Bureau will investigate the grocery giant’s practices and the business model of joint ventures such as Glentel, which create further concentration to the detriment of Canadian consumers.


The agreement between Loblaw and Glentel cloaks yet another attempt by the dominant players in the telecommunications market to thwart competition. To our knowledge, there is no other oligopoly where two of the three main players are allowed to work hand in hand to exclude competitors from such an important retail channel. This new squeeze by Loblaw, a company currently under investigation by the Competition Bureau for anti-competitive tactics in the grocery industry, is a major cause for concern

Pierre Karl Péladeau, President and CEO of Quebecor


An essential sales channel for healthy competition

Retail sales account for a significant portion of the Canadian wireless industry’s revenues. Quebecor estimates that in 2023, over 80% of Canadian wireless product sales were made in person in-store.


Bell, Rogers and Telus have clear market dominance, exercised largely through third-party retailers operating under generic names such as tbooth wireless, Wirelesswave and Wow! Mobile Boutique, giving customers a false sense of objectivity. Currently, 49.5% of these retailers are controlled by at least one member of the Big 3. If Glentel lays its hands on 180 The Mobile Shop outlets, the percentage will rise to 62.5%, further strengthening the oligopoly’s grip on retail sales of wireless products and services.


The expansion of controlled retail will deprive the other players of a fair and equitable opportunity to make a dent in the controlling market share of the Big 3, Mr. Péladeau said.  These concerns were brought to the attention of Loblaw senior management but were brushed aside. They are pursuing their own financial interests at the expense of Canadian consumers.


Quebecor is therefore calling for action to preserve a fair competitive environment in the telecommunications and grocery businesses, in the best interests of Canadians.

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