OTTAWA -- The Competition Bureau will allow Postmedia to buy Sun Media's English-language newspapers and digital properties.

The federal regulator says it approved the deal because it's unlikely to substantially lessen or prevent competition.

The bureau cited a lack of a close rivalry between Postmedia's broadsheet newspapers and Sun Media's tabloid newspapers

It also said the media company will want to keep readers and maintain editorial quality to attract advertisers to its newspapers, which face competition from free newspapers and digital alternatives.

Sun Media parent Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.B) said the $316-million deal with Postmedia Network Canada Corp. (TSX:PNC.B, TSX:PNC.A) is now expected to close in the coming weeks.

The deal, announced last year, includes 175 newspapers and publications, including the Sun chain of daily newspapers as well as the London Free Press and the 24 Hours free dailies in Toronto and Vancouver.

The sale also includes the Canoe web portal in English Canada, part of the national sales team based in Toronto, Quebecor's Islington printing plant in Ontario and 34 real estate properties in Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba.