Feds to avoid BCE/Astral fray: Paradis

Canada's Industry Minister Christian Paradis speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons...

Canada's Industry Minister Christian Paradis speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa in this October 2, 2012 file photo. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie/Files)

Jessica Murphy, Parliamentary Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:52 PM ET

OTTAWA -- Industry Minister Christian Paradis says there's "no point" in the Conservative government meddling in the federal broadcast regulator's decision to reject the takeover of Astral by Bell Canada Enterprises.

"The CRTC is a quasi-judicial tribunal so they made their own decision and at this point, there is an appeal possible according to the law but we have no intention to intervene," he told reporters Tuesday.

"We acknowledge the decision and at this point there's no way for us to intervene - this is not our jurisdiction."

The federal government had hinted it had no interest in getting involved after the regulator struck a deathblow to the proposed $3.4-billion media mega-merger earlier this month, arguing it didn't serve the public interest.

But BCE, which accused the CRTC of ignoring its own policies in rejecting the takeover, was pushing the cabinet to direct the regulator to follow a 2008 policy its lawyers believes would favour the deal.

By buying Astral , BCE would have controlled 107 radio stations, English-language TV networks CTV and CTV2, as well as 49 pay and specialty television services.

The merged company would also have controlled 35% of the French TV market.

BCE was not immediately available for comment.

-- with files from Daniel Proussalidis


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