The Competition Bureau of Canada announced today that it will not challenge Shaw Communications Inc.'s proposed acquisition of the over-the-air and specialty television businesses of Canwest Global Communications Corp.
The federal agency said that following a significant review, it had concluded the takeover would not reduce competition in the television industry in this country.
"The Bureau has conducted a very thorough review and we appreciate their efforts to expeditiously complete their examination," said Jim Shaw, CEO and Vice Chair of Shaw. "We look forward to moving ahead with this transaction."
The final hurdle in the approval process for the sale of Canwest to Shaw is CRTC approval. The CRTC has announced a public hearing during the week of September 20, 2010. In its Broadcasting Notice of Consultation, the CRTC has said that it may wish to discuss the potential impact on the television market (i.e., market power that Shaw could enjoy and the potential to adopt anti-competitive behaviour), and may examine various related ownership issues.
"Canwest is now one step closer to emerging from protection under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act," said Jim Shaw. "We look forward to completing the last remaining step."
Under terms of the $2 billion deal, Shaw would the sole owner of CanWest's broadcasting assets including the Global Television Network and eighteen specialty cable channels including, HGTV, Mystery TV, National Geographic Channel, Showcase, History and TVTropolis.
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