Thursday, June 27, 2013

CRTC approves Bell/Astral deal with conditions

The CRTC has approved BCE Inc.’s revised takeover bid for specialty broadcaster Astral Media Ltd., a $3.38 billion deal that will allow Bell to grow in Quebec and to bulk up to compete with emerging streaming services such as Netflix.
The Star reports that while analysts applauded the decision, saying it allows Bell an avenue for expansion in a country where opportunities are limited, consumer groups said it will mean less choice for Canadians and higher prices.
The ruling, which came after markets closed Thursday, also drew a rebuke from rival Rogers Communications Ltd., which had voiced concerns about Bell’s initial proposal last fall that was rejected by the watchdog on grounds it would unduly concentrate ownership.

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