Postmedia said today its deal for Sun Media Corporation’s English media assets could close within “the next few weeks,” after the Competition Bureau indicated it would not challenge last fall’s deal with Quebecor Media.
The Toronto-based media company announced today it had received a no-action letter from the Competition Bureau regarding its planned acquisition of Sun Media Corporation’s 175 English newspapers, specialty publications and associated digital properties.
The transaction includes the Sun chain of dailies, as well as The London Free Press, the free commuter papers 24 Hours Toronto and 24 Hours Vancouver, and more than 160 community papers. It also includes the Canoe web portal outside of Quebec.
The Competition Bureau said the deal is unlikely to substantially lessen or prevent competition in the Canadian newspaper industry.
In a statement, Postmedia president and CEO Paul Godfrey said the $316 million deal means the company is poised to better compete with “foreign-based digital giants” like Google and Facebook. He said these companies have been “disrupting” the Canadian media landscape “at the peril of distinctive Canadian voices.”
Speaking with Marketing after the transaction was first announced in October, Godfrey said the deal gives Postmedia the necessary scale to compete against the digital giants, with more than 12 million unique visitors per month.
“We’re not going to be able to compete with Google and Facebook just because of this deal alone,” he said at the time. “We’re setting the stage for increased revenues coming in because of this, and I think over time we will be able to compete.”