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Telus Opposes Bell's Proposed Acquisition Of Astral Media

Canadian telecommunications company Telus Corp. (TU,T.TO,T.A.TO) said it has filed a submission to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission or CRTC, opposing Bell's potential acquisition of Astral Media and specifically the impact that an unprecedented concentration of market power in the broadcasting sector would have on Canadian consumers.

Telus said it supported the views expressed last week by the Say No to Bell coalition, comprised of Quebecor, Cogeco and Eastlink, as well as the concerns expressed by the Public Interest Advocacy Centre and its associates.

Telus also stated that Bell's proposed acquisition of Astral Media is not in the public interest; if the transaction is approved, Bell could hold a 49.51 per cent share of the English-language television audience share when joint venture assets such as Teletoon, which is 50 per cent owned by Astral, and MLSE assets, which are pending approval, are factored in.

Telus urged the CRTC to enforce and further strengthen its existing vertical integration safeguards to curtail anti-competitive conduct on all platforms: TV, distribution, mobile and broadband access to content.

In March 2012, Canadian telecom company BCE Inc. (BCE,BCE.TO), the parent company of Bell Canada, had agreed to acquire Québec's largest independent media company Astral Media Inc. (AAIAF.PK,ACM_A.TO) for C$50 per share in a deal valued at about C$3.38 billion, including C$380 million of debt.

by RTT Staff Writer

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