BCE resubmits Astral bid to broadcast regulator

Nov 19, 2012 by Rob Gillies

(AP)—Canada's largest telecommunications company, BCE Inc., resubmitted a bid to the country's broadcast regulator to buy Astral Media Inc. for $3.38 billion, the companies said Monday.

The Canadian Radio-television blocked a deal last month, saying it would have resulted in an unprecedented level of consolidation in the country's .

Astral is Canada's largest pay and specialty TV broadcaster. It owns 25 TV stations, including HBO Canada. It also owns 84 radio stations in 50 Canadian markets and is the third-largest outdoor advertising company.

BCE, also known as Bell, wants to deliver more content to televisions, tablets and mobile devices.

BCE said Monday they've found ways to address the CRTC's concerns over the level of ownership concentration in some markets but said details on the amended proposal will be made available by the CRTC when it launches its public consultation period.

"We heard Canadians and the CRTC loud and clear—they want assurance that Astral joining with Bell Media will directly benefit consumers and creators. We're ready to deliver more choice for listeners and viewers, more opportunity for , and more competition for the broadcasting industry," George Cope, Bell's president and CEO, said in a statement.

Many had expected the regulator would approve the deal with conditions, but Jean-Pierre Blais, who took over as charmain of the CRTC five months ago, said the combined company would have controlled 107 radio stations, two national English language television stations and 49 pay and specialty television channels.

Blais dismissed the notion that they could have set conditions on the deal. He said last month that BCE is already Canada's largest , the second largest wireless service provider and third largest television distributor in Canada.

Most of BCE's competitors said the deal would have placed significant market power in the hands of one vertically integrated company.

BCE had argued it needed to do the deal to compete with international rivals like video subscription service Netflix, and they pledged tangible benefits by adding $240 million in funding for programs.

Explore further: FCC chief proposes opening the pay-TV industry to tech firms

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Astral still in talks with BCE about takeover deal

Nov 16, 2012

(AP)—Canadian broadcasting and advertising company Astral Media Inc. said Friday that it is still talking with BCE Inc. in the hopes of finding a way to have the friendly takeover offer by the telecom giant win regulatory ...

Canada vows no limits on Internet downloads

Feb 03, 2011

Canada's industry minister vowed Thursday to overturn a regulatory ruling that effectively put an end to small Internet service providers offering unlimited downloads.

Globalive to launch mobile phone service in Canada

Dec 11, 2009

(AP) -- The Canadian government said Friday that it has approved a request from Egyptian-backed telecom Globalive Wireless Management Corp. to launch its mobile phone service in Canada.

Comcast, NBC to sell 1 TV station in Los Angeles

May 10, 2010

(AP) -- NBC Universal will sell one of the three Los Angeles stations it owns as cable TV provider Comcast Corp. tries to clear regulatory hurdles so it can acquire a controlling stake in the entertainment company.

Recommended for you

Wi-Fi hotspot named for terror group delays flight

Oct 27, 2014

A passenger aboard a plane at Los Angeles International Airport picked up a Wi-Fi hotspot named after a terrorist group, but authorities who held travelers for hours as they investigated say no crime was committed.

'Eye in the sky' will bypass Internet traffic jams

Oct 27, 2014

When you're driving to work you wish you knew where the traffic jams will be. The same is true on the Internet, but network operators today can't observe or control the paths that carry data beyond the borders of their own ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.