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Canadian Government Generates $4.25-Billion with Wireless Airwaves Auction

Date: 7/28/2008 11:50:46 AM

Canada’s federal government is still deciding to do with much of the $4.25 billion in revenue generated by its most recent wireless spectrum auction, according to Industry Minister, Jim Prentice, who described the sale as a huge success that will boost competition in the country’s cell phone industry.

Buyers are likely to put the acquired airwaves to quick use, Prentice said, given that the licenses are only valid for 10-years and the opportunity cost of hoarding spectrum is huge. Once acquired, the licenses cannot be sold to any company that does not meet the criteria as a new wireless market entrant.

Finance Minister, Jim Flaherty, previously indicated that most of the auction’s proceeds would go towards paying down the national debt. The sale was initially expected to gross just $1.5 to $2 billion, however, and it is possible that some of the excess revenue could go towards tax relief or other purposes.

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