Updated with Corus calling off the deal.
Corus and Bell have dropped their plans for Bell to acquire Corus’s ownership of French-language specialty channels Séries+ and Historia days after Corus announced the Commissioner of Competition has decided not to approve the $200-million purchase.
Reasons weren’t given — the bureau itself has not released a statement, but a spokesperson points out to Cartt.ca that their agreement with Bell is that it wouldn’t try to acquire them within 10 years. Five years ago, when Bell sought to purchase Astral Media (which at the time co-owned Séries+ and Historia with Shaw), the bureau came to an agreement to approve that sale, under various conditions that included the sale of those two channels. To allow Bell to re-buy those channels now would mean that the bureau does not take its own demands seriously.
The fact that Bell would have more than half the subscription revenue of French-language television in Canada might also have something to do with it.
The sale had gone through a CRTC process and was awaiting a decision. Now that process will be abandoned.
It’s about time someone stands up to Bell, even in hindsight, but I said it then, the whole Bell -Astral merger should never have been allowed to go through .
We are now seeing why. .
This is Bell you are talking about. They will modify the request slightly, perhaps add a minor partner, and do it all again. Then 2 years later, they will buy out the partner.
The CRTC doesn’t have the desire to stop the mess that Bell is making. The competition bureau is the only ones with any, umm, “brass monkeys”.
Holy crap the competition bureau actually stopped a purchase for once, that’s surprising. However, we need to put an end to Bell’s countless acquisitions, they’re gobbling up most of the media and telecom industries, it’s disgusting that we’re letting them monopolize our country.