CRTC decision in the public interest, says Canada's largest media union

OTTAWA, Oct. 18, 2012 /CNW/ - The CRTC's well-reasoned decision to deny Bell's application to acquire Astral addressed concerns of Canadians and canadian consumers about the scope and impact of this transaction , says the country's largest media union, the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada.

The Commission said that approving «this transaction is not in the public interest.» It noted intervenors' concern that «none of the $241.3 million in tangible benefits would be directed toward existing or new local programming for any of the local television and radio stations » that Bell would have bought.

CEP highlighted these points when it appeared at the CRTC's September public hearing.

Among other things, Bell claims it could extract millions of dollars of « synergies » from buying Astral without explaining how it would achieve these savings.

« CEP set out its concern that these so-called synergies actually meant more job losses in a sector that has been hard hit in the last decade, » said Peter Murdoch CEP's Vice-President, Media.

« Bell proposed to devote millions of dollars to independant productions; CEP expects that as one of the country's largest media companies, Bell will continue to invest in Canadian programming. »

« Going forward, » Murdoch said,  « CEP expects the CRTC will apply the same rigour and analytical criteria  it did in this decision to the next application filed regarding the Astral assets. »

SOURCE: COMMUNICATIONS, ENERGY AND PAPERWORKERS UNION OF CANADA

For further information:

Peter Murdoch, (905) 516-5720