Toronto Maple Leafs, Raptors Sale Approved By Government Regulators

Two giant Canadian phone companies moved a step closer Thursday to owning a big chunk of the Toronto Maple Leafs, as the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission ruled to not block a $1.32 billion bid by BCE Inc. and Rogers Communication Inc, reports the Canadian Press.

The purchase by the two companies is for 75-percent stake of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., which owns the Toronto Raptors, Toronto Marlies and the Toronto FC and five television services including Leafs TV.

"When deciding whether or not to approve a proposed ownership transaction, the commission must be persuaded, in light of the application and the public record that an approval is in the public interest," said CRTC chairman Jean-Pierre Blais in a news release.

"In this case, we have been convinced that the transaction benefits Canadians as it will lead to the creation of new homegrown sports programming."

The CRTC was ruling on the case after competitors of the BCE and Rogers complained the purchase would "create a sports duopoly".

The deal has reached all final regulatory approvals and is expected to close soon, but there's no current date for finalization.

For more on the Toronto Maple Leafs, visit SB Nation's Leafs blog Pension Plan Puppets and SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.

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