Source: Toronto Star
The Stanley Cup may still seem elusive, but BCE Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. have clinched a major sporting prize — Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.
The giant media companies cleared the last remaining hurdle Thursday when the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission signed off on the $1.32 billion deal, which is expected to close imminently.
"When deciding whether or not to approve a proposed ownership transaction, the commission must be persuaded, in light of the application and the public record that an approval is in the public interest," said CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais in a news release.
"In this case, we have been convinced that the transaction benefits Canadians as it will lead to the creation of new homegrown sports programming."
Bell and Rogers will get a 75 per cent stake in MLSE, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Marlies, Toronto FC as well as real estate and television holdings.
Sports leagues and the Competition Bureau have all agreed to the blockbuster sale, though the federal agency said it would continue to keep an eye on the transaction for one year over fears other service providers might be shutout of certain sports programming or face increased charges.
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