December 20, 2016 / 5:42 PM / a year ago

BCE gets first regulatory nod to buy Manitoba Telecom

Dec 20 (Reuters) - BCE Inc said on Tuesday it had received its first regulatory approval, from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications, for its proposed C$3.1 billion ($2.3 billion) acquisition of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.

The CRTC’s approval is the first of three approvals required from regulators to complete Montreal-based BCE’s acquisition of MTS, which is expected to close in early 2017.

BCE, Canada’s largest telecom and media company, said in May it would buy Manitoba Telecom to expand its services in the western Canadian province.

BCE, which operates as Bell Canada, has said it will divest one-third of MTS’s post-paid wireless subscribers to Telus Corp after the close of the deal to allay regulatory concerns and reduce acquisition costs. ($1 = 1.3370 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Vishaka George in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr)

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