Canadian auction eclipses $4 billion

On the new entrants side, Quebecor Inc. is taking the reins, bidding $565.1 million over 18 licenses. They’re mainly bidding in Ontario and Quebec, where they run the Videotron cable service. Globalive has the high bid on 26 licenses for $433.1 million, though they are under fire from Shaw, because of the Globalive’s foreign ties. Shaw themselves have 25 high bids for $208.7 million.

“It is interesting to see a process so clearly driven by foreign money,” CEO Jim Shaw said Friday during a conference call to discuss the cable company’s third-quarter results. “We just hope that when the auction’s over and the bidders are qualified, that they all can recite the words to the Canadian national anthem,” Shaw said.
On the major players side, Telus has the high bid on 53 licenses for $800.4 million, while Bell lags behind the pack with $695 million over 53 licenses. The auction will not close until the bidding ceases. Given how this auction has developed, that might not be any time soon. (And you watch. It will end this week just because I said that.)]]>