Canadian bureau approves C$3 bln BCE-Astral takeover

Mon Mar 4, 2013 4:34pm EST
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OTTAWA, March 4 (Reuters) - Canada's Competition Bureau granted conditional approval on Monday for a C$3 billion ($2.9 billion) plan by BCE Inc to buy Astral Media Inc , but the offer by Bell Canada's parent must still pass muster with the country's telecoms regulator.

The regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, rejected BCE's first offer in October. It is expected to reveal details of a subsequent offer this week when it sets a date for public hearings.

Under a deal the Competition Bureau reached with Bell Canada, the company must make significant divestitures of Astral's ownership interests in a number of pay and specialty television channels.