Transcontinental to sell 34 newspapers as part of Quebecor deal
A TC Transcontinental sign is pictured at the company's annual general meeting in Montreal, Tuesday, March 11, 2014. (Graham Hughes / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, May 28, 2014 11:25AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 28, 2014 4:40PM EDT
TORONTO -- The Competition Bureau will approve a deal for Transcontinental Inc. to acquire 74 community newspapers from Quebecor Media if nearly half of those newspapers are put up for sale first.
The regulatory body says the agreement requires Transcontinental to sell 34 of the community publications and websites it wants to buy and to help preserve advertising competition.
Putting the newspapers for sale will allow a third party to buy and operate the publications independent "to the benefit of both readers and advertisers," says the regulator.
It asks that the proposed papers be offered for sale at no minimum price, and requires Transcontinental to provide distribution and printing to the new owner.
Last December, Transcontinental agreed to buy 74 publications and related websites from Quebecor Media for $75 million. The proposed acquisition received approval from boards at both companies, but was still awaiting regulatory approval from the Competition Board.
Quebecor Media still operates Quebec's largest daily newspaper Le Journal de Montreal, Le Journal de Quebec, the 24 Heures free daily and the QMI news agency.