MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - April 8, 2013) - Cogeco Cable Inc. (TSX:CCA) ("Cogeco") today announced its full opposition to the application by Astral Media Inc.("Astral") to the CRTC for authority to transfer its effective control, and control of its licensed broadcasting subsidiaries, to BCE Inc. ("BCE") and to complete related corporate reorganizations. Cogeco's opposition is based on the same concerns raised in its submission filed in the proceeding leading to the Commission's October 18, 2012 decision to reject BCE's proposed acquisition of Astral (Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-547). Astral's application does not fix the major flaws that were then identified by the Commission. As was the case in BCE's 2012 application, Astral's applications would give BCE unprecedented market power that could not be constrained through regulatory safeguards, whether administered by the Commission or the Commissioner of Competition. Nothing in the intervening months has brought about new revelations that would allow the Commission to overlook these major flaws or seek to remedy them through regulatory means, and the Commission's fundamental reason's for denying the previous application apply equally to the current application.
Astral's application raises the same very substantial concerns "related to competition, ownership concentration in television and radio, vertical integration and the exercise of market power" as were noted in Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2012-574 denying the previous application.
Below is an overview of Cogeco's arguments supporting a definitive denial of the proposed transaction by the CRTC :
Cogeco affirms that, as was the case with the previous application by BCE, 's application, the Commission must reject Astral's application based on the public interest, and do so in the clearest and most definitive terms so as to avoid further attempts by Astral or by BCE to complete the proposed transaction.
Cogeco has asked to appear at the CRTC public hearing scheduled to begin on May 6, 2013 in Montreal.
ABOUT COGECO CABLE
Cogeco Cable (www.cogeco.ca) is a telecommunications corporation and is the11th largest hybrid fibre coaxial cable operator in North America operating in Canada under the Cogeco Cable brand name in Quebec and Ontario, and in the United States through its subsidiary Atlantic Broadband in Western Pennsylvania, South Florida, Maryland, Delaware and South Carolina. Its two-way broadband cable networks provide to its residential and small business customers Analogue and Digital Television, High Speed Internet («HSI») and Telephony services. Through its subsidiaries Cogeco Data Services and PEER 1 Hosting, Cogeco Cable provides its commercial customers a suite of IT hosting, information and communications technology services (Data Centre, Co-location, Managed Hosting, Cloud Infrastructure and Connectivity), with 23 data centres, extensive fibre networks in Montreal and Toronto as well as points-of-presence in North America and Europe. Cogeco Cable's subordinate voting shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:CCA). For more information about Cogeco Cable and its subsidiaries visit cogeco.ca, cogecodata.com, peer1.com and peer1hosting.co.uk.