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Canadian bureau approves $2.9 billion BCE-Astral takeoverUS-ASTRAL-BCE-ANNOUNCEMENT:Canadian bureau approves $2.9 billion BCE-Astral takeover
OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's Competition Bureau granted conditional approval on Monday for a C$3 billion ($2.9 billion) plan by BCE Inc to buy Astral Media Inc, but the offer by Bell Canada's parent must still pass muster with the country's telecoms regulator.
The regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, rejected BCE's first offer in October. It is expected to reveal details of a subsequent offer this week when it sets a date for public hearings.
Under a deal the Competition Bureau reached with Bell Canada, the company must make significant divestitures of Astral's ownership interests in a number of pay and specialty television channels.
(Reporting by Randall Palmer, Louise Egan and David Ljunggren; Editing by Frank McGurty)
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