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CanWest’s $2.3b Alliance Atlantis deal gets the go-ahead

Broadcast regulator the CRTC has approved CanWest’s takeover of Canadian media company Alliance Atlantis. But the deal has angered local industry groups as it leaves US investment bank Goldman Sachs with a 64% holding in Alliance Atlantis.

Canadian rules limit foreign ownership of Canadian media firms, but the CanWest has structured the deal so that it will hold 35% of Alliance Atlantis’ equity, but 66% of the voting stock. CanWest tweaked the terms of the agreement earlier this year to appease regulators.

But Canadian industry group ACTRA was angered by the decision. Executive director Stephen Waddell sad: "Our primetime television schedule is already dominated by US shows, thanks to the CRTC. This decision is truly alarming. Now the CRTC has allowed a US company to buy a Canadian broadcaster."