The TTC is expected to back out of a $50-million lease extension with Gateway Newstands after a third-party review recommended the public transit agency open the operation of subway newsstands to competitive bids, according to reports.

The TTC board has been criticized by Mayor Rob Ford and others for previously agreeing to a 10-year extension with the company without a call for other offers.

Critics dubbed it a “sole-source contract.”

According to reports, the board is expected to withdraw from the extension at its meeting Monday afternoon, based on the recommendation from consulting firm Altus Group Ltd.

The TTC stands to lose about $3 million for going back on the deal, board chair Karen Stintz told the Toronto Star.

The agreement with Gateway Newstands includes a 67 per cent increase in rent, including a $1.4 million bump in the final two years of its previous agreement with the city.

Gateway Newstands has been the sole operator of newsstands and kiosks in subway stations since 1994. The current deal with Gateway Newstands is set to expire in 2014.

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