OTTAWA -- The CRTC and Competition Bureau are planning closer co-operation between the two federal agencies, which play complementary roles in overseeing mergers and takeovers in the broadcast and telecommunications sectors.

The agreement, among other things, calls for joint training of employees and information sharing between the two agencies. They have also committed to semi-annual meetings between senior management.

Both the bureau and Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission are under the Industry Department.

John Pecman, the commissioner of competition, said "this co-operation agreement will allow us to further strengthen our commitment to competition in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors."

CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais said Wednesday's announcement will build on a long-standing relationship with the Competition Bureau.

"Through our combined efforts, Canadians will continue to have a choice of competitive, innovative and affordable broadcasting and telecommunications services," Blais said in a statement.

Earlier this year, the CRTC was faced with reviewing BCE Inc.'s (TSX:BCE) takeover of Astral Media Inc. that had already been approved by the Competition Bureau.

The CRTC, which eventually also approved the takeover, had initially rejected the deal, saying it wasn't good for Canadians.

However, BCE reworked the deal, including an agreement to sell several pay and speciality TV channels, to win approval from the regulators.