I’m sure there are a lot of senior execs from Bell, Rogers and Telus breathing a sigh of relief right now, pouring themselves a celebratory single malt. Labour Day was kind to Canada’s “Big Three” Telcos as U.S. telecom giant Verizon announced earlier today it has no intention of entering the Canadian market.
In fact, it seems they never truly intended to pursue a stake in Canada’s wireless industry. CEO Lowell McAdam is quoted as saying their plans to compete in the Canadian market were “way overblown.”
The back-patting among Big Three execs will be short lived, though. The toothpaste was projectile-forced from the tube by the Fair For Canada campaign; the Big Three anti-Verizon campaign launched earlier this summer. It was a poorly executed campaign which essentially rolled out a red carpet of criticism from the Canadian public. Among the many mistakes was timing, insincere performances and especially the mixed message: save Canada’s big telco companies and, oh yeah, protect the Canadian marketplace.
All that to say, the Verizon withdrawal is only the start of a new stage of criticism the Big Three will be facing this fall. In fact, the Verizon withdrawal will give critics of Bell, Rogers and Telus even more motivation to pressure the companies to reinvent themselves as customer-centric behemoths as well as pressure the Canadian Goverment to steer the Big Three into being better Canadian corporate citizens.