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Pattison buying radio stations

THE Jim Pattison Broadcast Group is going a little bit country, a little bit rock 'n' roll and a little bit adult contemporary.

The B.C.-based company has signed a deal to buy two FM stations from Bell Media, including FAB 94.3 (CHIQ-FM) in Winnipeg, a classic pop station primarily featuring hits from the 1960s and '70s, and one FM station from Astral Media Inc., QX104, also of Winnipeg.

The other station is Kool FM 101.5 CKCE in Calgary, which has a "hot adult contemporary" format.

The deal is subject to approval by the CRTC and contingent on approval of Bell's acquisition of Astral.

Astral and Bell are selling the stations to comply with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission rules that limit the number of stations a company can own in a single market.

The CRTC wrapped up a week of public hearings last week into Bell's plan to buy Astral.

The federal broadcast regulator killed the deal last year, but the companies revised the plan and sought a fresh review.

 

Telus seeks to buy Mobilicity

TELUS announced a plan Thursday to buy struggling wireless carrier Mobilicity for $380 million, a deal observers say will prompt higher prices for monthly cellphone service if it is allowed.

"Maybe you want to talk to your provider and renegotiate your deal now," said John Lawford of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

Mobilicity was part of a new wave of small wireless companies to challenge Telus (TSX:T), Rogers (TSX:RCI.B) and Bell (TSX:BCE) after the last wireless spectrum auction.

The company, which does not require long-term contracts, brought unlimited talk-and-text plans to the marketplace, said Lawford, executive director of the Ottawa-based group.

"In a lot of places where Mobilicity offers service you're going back to just three operators. You can guess who they are -- Bell, Telus and Rogers. Prices will just go up."

The Telus offer is subject to conditions including approval by the federal Competition Bureau, Industry Canada and Mobilicity's debtholders.

 

App Store downloads top 50B

APPLE topped 50 billion downloads in its App Store Thursday.

Brandon Ashmore from Mentor, Ohio, downloaded the 50 billionth app, Say the Same Thing by Space Inch LLC. Apple awarded him a $10,000 App Store gift card.

Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice-president of Internet software and services, said in a press release the company is "absolutely floored" to pass this milestone.

"The App Store completely transformed how people use their mobile devices and created a thriving app ecosystem that has paid out over nine billion dollars to developers," Cue said.

Customers download over 800 apps per second from the App Store at a rate of two billion apps per month.

The App Store opened in July 2008 with 500 apps and now offers over 850,000 apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

 

-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 17, 2013 B6

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