Bell Canada’s CFO Glen LeBlanc has told a telecoms and media conference that the group plans to merge the operations of its subsidiary EBOX with alternative telco Distributel if the takeover deal for the latter – announced earlier this month – receives regulatory clearance. As reported by MobilSyrup, LeBlanc said: ‘We will leave [Distributel] as a self-standing entity and operate it as such. We will consolidate it with EBOX.’ LeBlanc added that the Distributel acquisition will help Bell accelerate its fixed internet subscription take-up, while noting that the purchase will take between three and five months to gain regulatory approval. LeBlanc also asserted that the moves will not reduce competition, stating: ‘From our perspective, consolidation in our industry continues to be a reality on this wholesale front, and I don’t think that in any way reduces competition when you see the number of players that still exist, including the largest one in [alternative ISP] TekSavvy.’
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that in February 2022 Bell acquired EBOX, described as the largest independent ISP in Quebec, and in 1Q22 Bell registered subscription base increases of 67,090 (fixed internet), 9,025 (IPTV) and 3,456 (fixed voice) via the EBOX takeover.
Distributel offers high speed internet, TV, mobile and home phone services through its consumer brands alongside business solutions via the Primus (acquired in January 2021) and ThinkTel brands.