Canadian cable leader Rogers Communications has abandoned its bid for Quebec-based rival Groupe Videotron.

The move ends a six-month battle with publishing giant Quebecor and its powerful backer, pension fund Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec. Last month, Quebecor and the Caisse, through a jointly-held company, topped Rogers' February $26-per-share takeover offer with a $3.3bn all-cash offer worth approximately $30 per share.

Under the terms of the Rogers offer - which was accepted by Videotron only to be blocked through the courts by the Caisse - Videotron must pay Rogers a spoiler fee of $164m if the deal is not completed. Rogers announced this week that the fee has been paid.

Analysts speculate that Rogers may make a consolation move on a smaller cable company, Cogeco, which has 900,000 subscribers in Ontario and Quebec, nearly 70,000 of them broadband. Had the Rogers-Videotron merger taken place, the company would have had the largest contiguous cable base in North America.