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Techvibes: CRTC blocks Bell’s $3.4-billion takeover of Astral Media

Because of your support of the campaign, Bell's takeover of Astral Media has been stopped by the CRTC. Had the deal been approved, Bell would have been given an overwhelming market share of Canada's communications – effectively allowing them to price-gouge Canadians and restrict access to the open Internet. We're now taking steps to fix our broken telecom market. Simply put: THANK YOU. Article by Knowlton Thomas for Techvibes Earlier this year Bell acquired Astral Media for a whopping $3.4 billion. But the deal was too big to happen easily—the merger acquired a deep investigation from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Today, the CRTC finalized a decision. And it shocked many.

The national regulator killed the merger, saying the combined companies would be impossible to police without "extensive and intrusive safeguards" needing to be imposed against all broadcasters across the country. As the Globe and Mail's Steve Ladurantaye writes, "the commission didn’t see any reason to allow one company to control as much as 42% of the English television market and 33% of the French."

“BCE failed to persuade us the deal would benefit Canadians,” said chairman Jean-Pierre Blais. “It would have placed significant market power in the hands of one of the country’s largest media companies. We could not have ensured a robust Canadian broadcasting system without imposing extensive and intrusive safeguards, which would have been to the detriment of the entire industry.” Read more »

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