Postmedia’s proposed acquisition of Sun Media’s English-language media assets was recently approved by the Competition Bureau. The $316-million deal was first announced in October 2014, which involved the acquisition of Sun Media’s 175 newspapers and digital publications, including the popular Sun tabloid newspapers in cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary.
After a lengthy 5-month merger review, the Bureau issued a No Action Letter on the basis that the transaction is unlikely to substantially lessen or prevent competition. In reaching this conclusion, the Bureau cited a number of factors, including the existing level of competition from other local daily newspapers, the lack of close rivalry between Postmedia’s broadsheet and Sun Media’s tabloid newspapers, and the incentive for the merged company to attract advertisers by maintaining readership and editorial quality. In addition, the declining influence of traditional print media and the increasing pressure from digital alternatives also played a significant role in the Bureau’s decision. However, the Bureau noted that “both readers and advertisers continue to value newspaper content and advertising in spite of the proliferation of digital alternatives”.