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Eastlink and Bruce Telecom Abandon Proposed Merger: Competition Preserved for Telecommunications Services in Port Elgin and Paisley, Ontario

OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 08/15/14 -- Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau announced today that, following a review by the Mergers Branch, Bragg Communications Inc. (Eastlink) and Bruce Telecom have terminated their previously announced agreement in which Eastlink would acquire Bruce Telecom. Both companies are facilities-based providers of telecommunications services, including wireline telephone, broadband internet and television, within Bruce County, Ontario.

The Bureau's review concluded that, had Eastlink's acquisition of Bruce Telecom proceeded as proposed, it would have likely resulted in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in the towns of Port Elgin and Paisley, where the two firms are the only providers of wireline telecommunications services. The parties ultimately decided to abandon the proposed transaction.

Quick Facts

--  Eastlink currently owns and operates more than 500 cable systems across
    Canada. Within Bruce Telecom's incumbency area, Eastlink owns and
    operates the cable systems in the towns of Port Elgin and Paisley,
    through which it currently offers wireline phone, television and
    broadband internet services in direct competition with Bruce Telecom.
--  Owned by the Municipality of Kincardine, Bruce Telecom is the incumbent
    telecommunications company for a large portion of Bruce County. In
    operation for more than 100 years, it currently offers wireline phone,
    television and broadband internet services across its incumbency area,
    which covers the towns of Kincardine, Tiverton, Port Elgin and Paisley,
    in addition to their surrounding rural areas.

Quotes

"Our review concluded that Eastlink's acquisition of Bruce Telecom would have likely resulted in higher prices and fewer choices for the supply of telecommunications services to the residents of the towns of Port Elgin and Paisley. In the absence of the dynamic rivalry that exists between Eastlink and Bruce Telecom, customers would also have been deprived of the benefits of innovation in their telecommunications services."

John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition

The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

Contacts:
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Competition Bureau
819-997-4282 / Toll free: 1-800-348-5358
TTY (hearing impaired): 1-800-642-3844
www.competitionbureau.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @CompBureau

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