Competition Bureau okays Shaw deal

CRTC approval is the last remaining hurdle to Shaw's takeover of Canwest's TV assets.

Only the CRTC stands in the way of Shaw Communications acquiring Canwest Global Communications Corp.’s TV assets now that the cabler has secured a greenlight from the federal Competition Bureau.

Calgary-based Shaw on Friday said the arms-length government agency, which weighs corporate acquisitions for monopoly implications, cleared the $2 billion takeover of Global TV and a string of specialty channels.

The Competition Bureau ruling said the Canwest Global transaction ‘will not likely give rise to a substantial lessening or prevention of competition under the Competition Act because of a number of factors, including effective remaining competition, the effect of the regulatory environment, the absence of relevant concerns expressed by market participants and numerous alternatives available to advertisers,’ Shaw reported.

The CRTC plans a public hearing starting Sept. 20 to consider the change of ownership for Canwest Global, which late last year tipped into creditor protection to deal with a $4 billion debt load.

‘Canwest is now one step closer to emerging from protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act,’ Shaw CEO Jim Shaw said in a statement.

‘We look forward to completing the last remaining step,’ he added.

Shaw in late-July received an Ontario court approval for its Canwest Global TV asset takeover. That okay followed Shaw first proposing to purchase a controlling stake in Canwest Global to help recapitalize the debt-laden broadcaster. Shaw then went for an outright acquisition after it faced a bitter legal fight with Goldman Sachs & Co for control of 13 former Alliance Atlantis Communications specialty channels acquired by Canwest Global in 2007.

From Playback Daily