Bell’s bid to acquire Astral gets regulatory approval

The CRTC approved BCE’s bid to acquire Astral Media’s television and radio services on Thursday. Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais, stated in a press release:

“Astral’s application put forward a different approach and responded to many of our concerns. Yet there remained a significant risk that BCE could exert its market power to limit choice and competition. To ensure the public interest is served, we are requiring BCE to invest in new Canadian programming and sell more than a dozen services, and we are putting in place a number of competitive safeguards. This will maintain a healthy and competitive broadcasting system that offers more programming choices to Canadian consumers and citizens and more opportunities for Canadian creators.”

The CRTC rejected Bell’s initial bid for Astral in October. The Globe and Mail reports on the story here.

For an extensive list of who advised on the original bid, see this Legal Matters blog posting by Kathryn Leger of the Montreal Gazette.

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