OTTAWA, August 7, 2012 — Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition, issued the following statement today in reaction to concerns expressed in an open letter to TV viewers published by Cogeco Cable Inc., Eastlink, and Québecor Inc.
"The Competition Bureau is currently reviewing the proposed acquisition of Astral by BCE Inc. (Bell).
Under the Competition Act, the Competition Bureau has a mandate to review mergers to determine whether they are likely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition.
The Bureau is aware that a number of serious concerns have been expressed by market participants related to the effect that increased concentration and vertical integration in the broadcasting industry are said to be having on consumers and other television programming providers.
While the Bureau is required by law to conduct its work confidentially, I can confirm that we are actively reviewing these concerns.
Should the Bureau determine that the proposed transaction is likely to substantially lessen or prevent competition, we would not hesitate to take appropriate action."
It is difficult to say how long a particular review will take, as the Bureau evaluates the steps that need to be taken on a case-by-case basis but as always, we work to complete our reviews as expeditiously as possible.
The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.
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