Competing is hard
and expensive. Much cheaper to just make deals, open or back-room, to keep prices high, investment low, and divy up the revenue.
Monopolistic pricing with minimal investment gives way more profits than competitive pricing and service.
Competition in this industry was broken enough already, with infrastructure limitations resulting in a duopoly, before the captive regulators let the two get in bed together.
The easy profits are great for the telco investors, bad for a country trying to compete in a global technology-based economy. These short-sighted policies and decisions are going to leave North America in the dust.