Telecom giants Rogers, Telus to testify at Bell-Astral hearing

MONTREAL – Major telecom players Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) and Telus (TSX:T) are scheduled to appear before a CRTC hearing into whether their chief rival should be allowed to forge a deal that would make it even larger.

Testimony from those competitors as well as major cable provider Cogeco (TSX:CGA) is expected today before the hearing into BCE’s (TSX:BCE) proposed $3.4-billion acquisition of Astral Media Inc. (TSX:ACM.A).

Cogeco and Telus have already voiced concern about the deal, which they say would give Bell too much control over the country’s broadcasting landscape.

Bell has said the acquisition of the Astral media assets will provide more competition in Quebec’s French-language market, which is dominated by Quebecor.

Bell says that with the acquisition of Astral, it will own 33.5 per cent of the English language market and 24.4 per cent of the French-language market.

The deal aims to create a media powerhouse that’s poised to take on rivals in providing digital content to consumers through online services and mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers.




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