BCE Revises Astral Bid to Win CRTC Approval

After an outright rejection from the CRTC against the proposed merger with Astral Media in mid-October, BCE wants to get back to the bargaining table.

The CEO of BCE, George Cope and his team have tabled a new proposal to meet the regulatory requirements set forth by the CRTC and in so doing show that it doesn’t create an unfair market advantage.

Cope said: “We heard Canadians and the CRTC loud and clear — they want assurance that Astral joining with Bell Media will directly benefit consumers and creators. We’re ready to deliver more choice for listeners and viewers, more opportunity for content creators, and more competition for the broadcasting industry.”

What exactly this translates to in the form of Astral assets to be retained by BCE and those that may possibly be auctioned off to its rivals remains unclear.

The CRTC will open up public hearings once again at which point it will be known which of Astral’s radio stations and television services BCE is willing to give up to satisfy the English and French viewership thresholds that originally prevented the $3.4 billion deal from passing.

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