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Canada must throw open the doors to foreign ownership in telecommunications, air travel and uranium mining and allow bank mergers if it is to avoid falling farther behind in the global economy, a competition review panel said Thursday.

 

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The panel's report urged a two-phased easing of telecommunications limits designed to increase the number of competitors in Canada rather than simply open the door for foreign buyouts of existing companies. In the first phase, foreign companies would be allowed to own a Canadian telecommunications firm that has less than a 10-per-cent market share. That would allow foreign companies to start up a new cellphone carrier or internet provider in Canada, for example, or buy a smaller player.

 

Foreign takeovers of larger companies would then be allowed after five years, at which time a broader review of broadcasting and cultural policies would take place. The panel said the government could still regulate Canadian content requirements, but said these wouldn't need to be tied to the actual pipes over which the media is transmitted.

 

(Courtesy of CBC News)

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