Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Industry minister rules out Bell-Astral merger role

Federal Industry Minister Christian Paradis dealt what appears to be the final blow Tuesday to BCE Inc.'s faltering bid for Astral Media Inc., saying Ottawa doesn't "have any intention to intervene" in the proposed bid.
BCE Inc. has petitioned the federal cabinet to tell broadcast regulators to re-evaluate the controversial $3.38-billion offer, which the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission rejected on Oct. 18.
"At this point, there is an appeal possible according to the law, but we don't have any intention to intervene," the minister said following an address to an industry conference here.
The blunt comments appear to all but rule out a merger of Astral with Bell Media, the entertainment unit for BCE, the country's largest telecommunications and media company.

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