Cogeco Urges CRTC To Reject Bell-Astral Deal

Cogeco Cable Inc.  today announced its full opposition to the application by Astral Media Inc. to the CRTC for authority to transfer its effective control, and control of its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, to BCE Inc. and to complete related corporate reorganizations. Cogeco’s opposition is based on the same concerns raised in its submission filed in the proceeding leading to the Commission’s October 18, 2012 decision to reject BCE’s proposed acquisition of Astral (Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-547). Astral’s application does not fix the major flaws that were then identified by the Commission. As was the case in BCE’s 2012 application, Astral’s applications would give BCE unprecedented market power that could not be constrained through regulatory safeguards, whether administered by the Commission or the Commissioner of Competition. Nothing in the intervening months has brought about new revelations that would allow the Commission to overlook these major flaws or seek to remedy them through regulatory means, and the Commission’s fundamental reason’s for denying the previous application apply equally to the current application.

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