Originally published: February 4, 2011
Last updated: February 4, 2011 - 9:35pm
A Canadian court struck down a federal government move to allow Globalive, a company with substantial foreign control, to operate a wireless service in Canada. The Federal Court judgment said the government's decision to overturn a federal telecoms regulator's ruling, which sought to prevent Globalive from operating, was "null and void in that it was determined on a basis in law not provided for in the Telecommunications Act."
The court decision will not go into effect for 45 days, leaving room for an appeal or changes to be made to privately held Globalive's ownership or management structures.
Globalive launched wireless services in Canada under the Wind Mobile brand in December 2009, and has since signed up more than 250,000 subscribers to its low-cost, no-contract and unlimited calling plans. The regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), had blocked Wind Mobile from operating, ruling it was not sufficiently Canadian-owned due to its financial backing from Egypt's Orascom Telecom.
Canadian law restricts foreign ownership to 20 percent of a telecom company's voting shares. Direct and indirect foreign control is limited to 46.7 percent.
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