Regulator gives go-ahead to Shaw-Canwest deal

Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:49pm EDT
 
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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Shaw Communications Inc's C$2 billion ($1.9 billion) purchase of Canwest Global Communications Corp's broadcast arm will not substantially reduce or prevent competition in the sector, Canada's Competition Bureau said on Friday.

The government agency said it would not challenge the transaction because there was a lack of relevant competitive concerns from market participants and there were numerous alternative options for advertisers.

Shaw, a cable, Internet and telephone company, won court approval for the Canwest deal in June after amending the terms of the takeover. Calgary-based Shaw, which also owns broadcaster Corus Entertainment Inc, agreed to give C$11 million to Canwest shareholders, who had complained of being shut out of the deal.

The federal communications watchdog, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, has set a September 20 hearing date for the deal.

The deal would give Shaw such Canwest TV assets as over-the-air broadcaster Global Television, as well as specialty channels including HGTV, Food Network, Showcase and History.

Canwest, which filed for bankruptcy in the face of a crippling debt load, has separately sold its newspaper business to a bondholder group for about C$1.1 billion.

($1=$1.04 Canadian)

(Reporting by Susan Taylor; editing by Rob Wilson)