Cogeco acquires independent internet provider Oxio’s telecom business

The purchase marks latest blow to Canadian telecom competition.

Canada is losing another independent internet service provider as Montréal-based Oxio has sold its telecommunications operations to Cogeco Connexion.

Cogeco announced the deal this week, representing the latest acquisition in telecom as the industry continues to consolidate. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Even if the CRTC makes good on its promise of a ‘fix’” there’s no one left and no one in their right mind will choose to enter this business.”
– Peter Nowak, TekSavvy

Cogeco said that Oxio will continue to operate independently under its brand. After selling its internet operations to Cogeco, Oxio said it will focus on the growth of its software business, which is a management platform for other telecom companies. According to Cogeco, it will also license Oxio’s software.

Launched in 2019, Oxio was created as a digital internet service provider to offer more user-friendly internet services to Canadians. It used its proprietary software platform and physical networks like Videotron and Rogers to provide users with internet connectivity.

Oxio is venture-backed, previously closing a $25 million CAD Series A round to support its expansion throughout Canada. Its internet services are available to consumers in Québec, Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.

Oxio touted itself as “fiercely independent,” with transparency as one of its other core values. As an ISP, Oxio was among a small group of companies looking to disrupt Canada’s telecom oligopoly ruled by the Big Three: Bells, Rogers, and Telus.

Oxio marks one of the latest independent ISPs to be bought up by a major telecom player in Canada, further stifling competition across the sector. Other independent ISPs that have been acquired recently include, Distributel, and EBOX. Oxio’s acquisition also follows the ongoing saga of the Rogers and Shaw’s $20 billion CAD merger, which has been met with opposition due to concerns of antitrust violations.

RELATED: Oxio secures $25 million CAD to accelerate Canadian expansion

Among others, like Globalive, TekSavvy published a statement alleging the plan to sell Shaw’s Freedom Mobile (formerly Wind) to Videotron is anticompetitive.

In a tweet following news of Oxio’s sale to Cogeco, Peter Nowak, vice president of insight and engagement at TekSavvy, said: “Wholesale-based telecom in Canada has literally been lobbied to death by big companies, who are also now merging.”

“Even if the CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) makes good on its promise of a “fix,” there’s no one left and no one in their right mind will choose to enter this business,” Nowak said.

Featured image courtesy Oxio.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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