Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Postmedia purchase of Sun Media given green light by Competition Bureau

The Pincher Creek Echo is one of 173 Sun Media properties cleared for purchase by Postmedia
(screencap of Echo masthead)
Chris Davis

In a decision made public this morning, the Competition Bureau of Canada has announced it will not challenge the purchase of Sun Media from Quebecor by Postmedia.

In their statement, the Competition Bureau states "Following an extensive 5-month review of Postmedia's proposed acquisition of Sun Media's English-language media assets (including print newspapers and digital properties), the Competition Bureau has concluded that the proposed transaction is unlikely to substantially lessen or prevent competition." Once finalized, that transaction will include 175 173* Sun Media newspapers, QMI Agency (Sun Media's wire service) and One of those Sun Media papers is the Pincher Creek Echo.

Commissioner of Competition John Pecman said "Given the importance to Canadians of competitive media markets, the Bureau conducted an extensive review of this merger. We found that advertisers and readers continue to value print newspapers, despite the growth of online sources as an alternative. However, our review concluded that there would not be significant anti-competitive effects for readers or advertisers arising from the proposed transaction. The Bureau is a strong advocate for competition, and will continue to ensure that Canadian media markets remain competitive and efficient."

A QMI article published on the various Sun Media websites states "The $316-million deal is expected to be sealed in the next few weeks."**

*updated: According to the Financial Post "When the proposed acquisition was announced, there were 175 Sun Media brands involved, but one community newspaper has since closed and two publications in Fort McMurray consolidated, Mr. Godfrey said."

**note: According to a Quebecor (Sun Media's parent company) press release "The payment ($316 million) will be subject to the customary adjustments and a $10 million adjustment related primarily to real estate properties sold by Sun Media prior to closing, which will be credited to Postmedia at closing."

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