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Catalyst Capital drops out of Canadian government's spectrum bidding

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December 6
2:26 AM 2013

Canadian private equity firm Catalyst Capital Group has withdrawn from the Canadian government's auction of prized wireless airwaves. Reuters in a report said that Catalyst's decision to drop out of the bidding is another setback for the government's plan to introduce more competition in the wireless sector. 

The investment firm is the fourth entity to opt out after a total of 15 players initially registered to bid in the January 14 auction of a 700 MHz spectrum, the report said.

According to Reuters, the government's rules for the upcoming auction are aimed at lowering consumer prices by breaking the stronghold of Canada's top three mobile phone operators. Rogers Communications Inc., BCE Inc. and Telus Corp are the  dominant players in the country's mobile phone business. 

The report was not immediately clear why Catalyst withdrew from the bidding process. Other bidders that have also withdrawn from the auction are Birch Hill Equity Partners, Vecima and a company listed as 1770139 Alberta, connected with Corridor Communications.

The remaining 11 bidders are Bell, Telus, Rogers, Manitoba Telecom, Sadkatchewan Telecommunications, Quebecor Inc.'s Videotron, Globalive, Bragg Communications, TBayTel, Novus and Feenix Wireless, Reuters said.

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