Competition Bureau Won't Block BCE-Astral Deal
March 5, 2013 at 4:20 AM (PT)
The restructured deal for BELL MEDIA RADIO parent BCE's C$3.38 billion purchase of ASTRAL MEDIA has cleared one government hurdle with the Competition Bureau deciding not to oppose the deal on MONDAY, with the approval contingent on the spinoff of several cable television channels and radio stations. The deal still needs CRTC approval.
Among the divestitures, the merged company will have to sell THE FAMILY CHANNEL, TELETOON, TELETOON RETRO, DISNEY XD, THE CARTOON NETWORK, DISNEY JR. (English and French), HISTORIA, SÉRIES+, TÉLÉTOON, TÉLÉTOON RÉTRO, MUSIQUEPLUS, and MUSIMAX; ASTRAL Triple A CHHR (SHORE 104.3), Adult Standards CISL-A and Hot AC CKZZ (VIRGIN RADIO 95.3)/VANCOUVER; ASTRAL Country CFQX (QX104)/WINNIPEG; ASTRAL Adult Hits CHBM (boom 97.3)/TORONTO; BELL MEDIA Hot AC CKCE (KOOL 101.5)/CALGARY; BELL MEDIA Oldies CHIQ (FAB 94.3)/WINNIPEG; BELL MEDIA Top 40/Rhythmic CFXJ (FLOW 93.5)/TORONTO; the combined company will also be prohibited from bundling requirements for cable carriage of THE MOVIE NETWORK or SUPER ECRAN. CORUS is buying the 50% interest in Active Rock CKQB (BEAR 106.9) and Classic Hits CJOT (boom 99.7)/OTTAWA and TELETOON that it does not already own, and will buy BELL and SHAW MEDIA's interests in HISTORIA and SERIES+ and SHAW MEDIA's 49% of ABC SPARK, and will sell its 20% of FOOD NETWORK CANADA to SHAW; CORUS' combined expenditure for the transactions is C$494 million. BELL is also filing an application with the CRTC to retain Sports CKGM-A (TSN 690)/MONTREAL and continue to operate it as an English-language station.