Watchdog Bars $3.4B BCE-Astral Merger Over Antitrust Fears

Law360, New York (October 18, 2012, 6:12 PM EDT) -- Canada's telecommunications regulator on Thursday rejected telecom giant BCE Inc.'s bid to scoop up Montreal-based Astral Media Inc. for CA$3.38 billion ($3.4 billion), saying the deal threatened healthy competition in the industry.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission denied BCE's proposed acquisition of Astral, saying that the concerns regarding reduced competition in the television and radio industries proved “very substantial and fatal to the application.”

“BCE failed to persuade us that the deal would benefit Canadians,” CRTC Chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said in a statement. “It would...
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