Cogeco, Eastlink and Quebecor urge Canadians to oppose BCE-Astral deal

The Canadian Press
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The heads of three major media companies are launching a campaign to oppose BCE Inc.’s (TSX:BCE) planned purchase of entertainment company Astral Media Inc. (TSX:ACM.A).

Louis Audet of Cogeco Cable Inc. (TSX:CCA), Lee Bragg of Eastlink and Pierre Karl Peladeau of Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.A) held a news conference in Ottawa to unveil a new online petition against the proposed deal.

They’re urging Canadians to contact the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Competition Bureau to oppose the proposed deal.

The deal still needs regulatory approval by the CRTC and the Competition Bureau.

Astral owns radio stations as well as specialty channels and pay-TV networks, including The Movie Network and HBO Canada.

Astral Media shareholders voted in May to approve the $3.4-billion acquisition of the TV, radio and billboard company by BCE Inc., but they did not endorse a special $25-million payment to company founder Ian Greenberg.

Organizations: BCE Inc., TSX, Cogeco Cable Inc. Quebecor Inc. Astral Media Inc. Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission Competition Bureau

Geographic location: Ottawa

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