Briefing

Netflix fires back at suggestions it should be regulated like a broadcaster

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The streaming giant is asking the panel reviewing Canada’s Broadcasting Act and Telecommunications Act not to—among other things—require it to set aside a percentage of Canadian revenues to fund Canadian content. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Netflix’s position in Canada has changed significantly since the fall of 2017, when then-heritage minister Mélanie Joly announced the company would not have to collect sales tax or meet Canadian content requirements, but would instead spend $500 million on Canadian production over five years. As The Logic reported in August 2018, Facebook will start collecting tax on certain ad sales, putting pressure on companies like Netflix to follow suit. Saskatchewan and Quebec both started collecting sales tax from Netflix in January 2018. Furthermore, the list of powerful groups asking for Netflix to face the regulation it’s been avoiding now includes the CBC, Bell Media, Rogers Media and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. Timing is on Netflix’s side, though. The panel reviewing the two acts is scheduled to deliver its final report in late January 2020, about three months after the next federal election.